Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Heracles, Theseus, Achelous, & Deianira in Metamorphoses

A few of the many questions that Ovid's text of Hercules, Achelous, and Theseus provokes for me - no particular order:

Why the careful set-up of the exquisite dinner party in Achelous' grotto - (a setting so intriguing that it was imitated in Renaissance gardens for hundreds of years)?

Ovid also depicted Theseus at the notorious dinner party for the wedding of Pirithous - what does this conjunction suggest?

What is Achelous's relation to his nature as a river?

Asking why water, trees and transformation run deeply throughout the tales told in the grotto, all precedent to the entrance of Heracles in Book 9.

One might notice, though not right away, that the story of Deianira frames all of the tales between the end of the Calydonian Boar hunt in Book 8 and the death (and birth) of Hercules in Book 9. Does this suggest a relation between the Boar (and Hunt) and the strange career of Hercules and Deianira?

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