drawing by marguerita
Ovid was interested in passion.Or rather, in what passion feels like
to the possessed by it. Not just ordinary passion either.But human passion in extremis- passion where it combusts,or levitates, or mutates into an experience of the super natural.
This is the current he divines and follows in each of his tales- the current of human passion.He adapts each myth to this theme.Where details or complexities of the traditional story encumber or diffuse his theme,he simply omits them.He must have known the full myth of Venus and Adonis,in which the Goddess of Love and her opposite in the underworld,the Goddess of Death, quarrel for possession of the baby Adonis, and in which the Boar has multiple identities, and where the whole sequence of events completes the annual cycle of the sacrificed god.
But all Ovid wants is the story of hope-lessly besotted and doomed love in the most intense form imaginable- as suffered by the love-goddess herself.from Tales from Ovid.