Cultural influence of Metamorphoses

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Metamorphoses (Latin: Metamorphoseon libri: "Books of Transformations") is a Latin narrative poem by the Roman poet Ovid, considered his magnum opus. Comprising fifteen books and over 250 myths, the poem chronicles the history of the world from its creation to the deification of Julius Caesar within a loose mythico-historical framework. Although meeting the criteria for an epic, the poem defies simple genre classification by its use of varying themes and tones.

Considered one of the most influential works in Western culture, particularly European, Metamorphoses has inspired such authors as Chaucer, Shakespeare, Dante and Boccaccio. Numerous episodes from the poem have been depicted in masterpieces of sculpture and painting by artists such as Titian. Although Ovid's reputation faded after the Renaissance, towards the end of the twentieth century there was a resurgence of interest in his work; today, Metamorphoses continues to inspire and be retold through various media.

Literature[edit]

Drama[edit]

Novels and other literature[edit]

Visual art[edit]

Music[edit]

  • In 1746, French composer Jean-Marie Leclair wrote an opera (tragédie en musique) Scylla et Glaucus based on the books 10, 13 and 14.
  • In 1783, Austrian composer Karl Ditters von Dittersdorf wrote twelve symphonies on selected stories of the Metamorphoses; only six survive, corresponding to stories from the first six books.[2]
  • Ruben Dario's Collection of poems, Prosas Profanas (1896) contains the poem "Coloquio de los Centauros" based upon Ovid's Metamorphoses.
  • In 1951, British composer Benjamin Britten wrote a piece for solo oboe incorporating six of Ovid's mythical characters.
  • Jazz artist Patricia Barber's 2006 album, Mythologies, is a set of songs based on Ovid's Metamorphoses.
  • Jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis's 2009 album Metamorphosen is based on Ovid's epic Metamorphoses.

Notes[edit]