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|Title:||Reading Ovid's Medea: Complexity, Unity, and Humour|
|Authors:||Russell, Stephen C.|
|Keywords:||Ovid;Latin;Literature;Medea;Mythology;Humour;Classical Literature and Philology;Classics;Classical Literature and Philology|
|Abstract:||<p>This thesis offers a consideration of Ovid’s portrayal of Medea - in <em>Heroides</em> 6 and 12, <em>Metamorphoses</em> 7, and in <em>Tristia</em> 3.9. Although several scholars have examined the myth as Ovid presents it, no one has yet offered a literary appreciation of Ovid’s various accounts of the myth – one that examines his use of characterization, humour, audience response, and one that treats his Medea as a consistent, albeit complex, character.</p> <p>The first chapter focuses on the sources for Ovid’s Medea, the ways he makes changes and, as far as we can tell, innovations to his predecessors. The second begins with a general introduction to the <em>Heroides</em>, followed by a close reading of <em>Heroides</em> 6, showing how this letter is an oblique reference to Medea’s letter and myth, and I point out the links between the two poems, arguing that Hypsipyle’s letter must be read as a foreshadowing of Medea’s. The third chapter examines <em>Heroides </em>12 – Medea’s letter - where I concentrate on Ovid’s characterization of Medea and specifically look at elements of black humour and foreshadowing. The fourth – and longest – chapter deals with the Medea of the <em>Metamorphoses</em>, where I propose that the real metamorphosis of this story is Medea herself, who moves from the state of an innocent young girl to that of a witch, yet noting that all of the changes take place within a work that is marked by its sense of playfulness – its <em>perpetua festivitas</em> – and note Ovid’s use of wit and irony even as his characterization appears to grow dark. The fifth and final chapter deals with the Medea in Ovid’s <em>Tristia</em>, where I place the Medea of this work within the context of Ovid’s exile poetry, while showing that he is working with a complex character and is in no way contradicting himself.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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