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Beyond Persephone: A Study of the Twice-Told Tales in Ovid’s Fasti and Metamorphoses

Goode, EJ; (2012) Beyond Persephone: A Study of the Twice-Told Tales in Ovid’s Fasti and Metamorphoses. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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There are several narratives told by Ovid in both the Fasti and Metamorphoses and, excluding the rape of Persephone, there has been little or no analysis of them. This thesis is the first focused comparison of all of the twice-told tales in the Metamorphoses and the Fasti. This thesis presents a close-reading of four of the most substantial twice-told tales, the rape of Callisto, the rape of Europa, the apotheosis of Romulus, and the death of Hippolytus. We find that the Metamorphoses and Fasti are woven together with strong invitations to compare between the two texts. Broadly this thesis finds that genre and, in particular, interest in divine action is an important distinguishing feature between the twicetold tales; divine action being present to a greater degree in the Metamorphoses narratives. This thesis then surveys the remaining twice-told tales with an emphasis on their position within the text. Here we find that the twice-told tales are positioned so as to increase the intertextual pull between the Metamorphoses and Fasti. Comparison of the twice-told tales also reveals insights into the individual texts, and in this respect the Fasti, as the lesser investigated of the two texts, particularly benefits. We argue that the twice-told tales in the Fasti reveal that the Fasti is a text characterised by the flux of genre and tone. Sexual comedy, a theme found to be present in several twice-told tales, is an important part of the way the Fasti maintains this flux. Comparison of twice-told narratives is then complemented by a comparison of a non-narrative discourse on animal sacrifice. This thesis demonstrates that comparison of this non-narrative episode is both invited with strong verbal echoes, and reveals useful insights into the two versions. Non-narrative operates in a similar way to narrative in the Metamorphoses and Fasti.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Beyond Persephone: A Study of the Twice-Told Tales in Ovid’s Fasti and Metamorphoses
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1367616
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