Saturday, December 10, 2011

Rich Gifts: The Shape of Metamorphoses 7

Book 7 of the Metamorphoses offers recurrent patterns -- there's sorcery, a prophetic dream, rejuvenation, a fulfilled wish, dangerous gifts, and an enchanted spear. As usual, Ovid does not offer to spell out their relationships for us.

The overall narrative can be broken into three major parts and one introductory vignette, as outlined below. Challenging!

Vignette: The sons of Boreas save Phineus the Seer

-- Zetes and Calais rescue Phineus from the Harpies
    (Note: Phineus was married to their sister, Cleopatra.)

I. Medea - Sorcery

-- Jason and Medea - dramatic monologue, plighted troth, Medea as auctor of Jason's feat.
-- Rejuvenation of Aeson - making the old young
-- Medea and Pelias - children kill their father
-- Medea, Aegeus and Theseus - father recognizes son - rejuvenation of Athens

II. Aeacus, Minos and the Myrmidons - Dream

-- Plague, Dream, and Rejuvenation of the kingdom

III. Cephalus and Procris - Gifts of the Gods

-- Gifts of Diana: Laelaps the magical dog and the Teumessian vixen.
-- Love, Mistrust, L'Aura, and an Enchanted Javelin
    (Procris was a daughter of Erechtheus and sister to Orithyia, who was ravished by Boreas)

Eos carries off Cephalus

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