Ovid the Metamorphoses Essay

Words: 1302
Pages: 6

Joey c.

The Metamorphoses: Why Jupiter’s feelings that humans are evil is misled and hypocritical.

“And I reckon them that are good must suffer for it the same as them that are bad.”― William Faulkner. Faulkner’s ideology is prevalent in the story The Metamorphoses, by Ovid, as the poet tells of the god Jupiter destroying all man kind (except for Deucalion and Pyrrha) because of the actions of one, Lycaon. Ovid describes Jupiter's destruction as an effort to protect all the gods who do not live in the heavens. However, Jupiter's actions are not justified in any way presented in the book. In the story there are multiple cases where Jupiter and other gods cause danger and torment on the lower class of gods. Examples of rape,
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By successfully raping Callisto, Jupiter caused her harm which was the very thing he wanted to protect them from. His lust is unstoppable in the book as he is a powerful god and he hurts both his wife, Juno, and his others in his sexual acts. In book three, his wife is so furious at the lust driven Jupiter that she convinced one of his lovers, Semele, to make Jupiter make love with her using all of his power. “...(Semele) could not bear such heavenly excitement, burst into flames and was incinerated by Jove’s gift. Her child was torn out of her womb unfinished...” (The Metamorphoses: Book 3, 497-400). Because of Jupiter's action’s both Semele and his own unborn son are killed. His lust drove Juno to intentionally hurt both Semele and Jupiter because she knew that: by making love to Semele, it would kill her and the unborn child. This shows that he fails to protect the gods, and in a very hypocritical action, he actually did more damage to the gods than any human ever did. The evil of Jupiter’s actions are ironic because his punishment of all humanity is a result of the cruelty and wickedness of humans that Jupiter saw. Through Jupiter's faults it is clear that his destruction of mankind was an act of hypocrisy, however it is also the actions of other god’s that make Jupiter’s reasons for the flood seem foolish. The gods in the story have powers that even the greatest of human abilities cannot compare to, and with evil intentions they can cause much more damage too.