The Metamorphoses: Examining a Roman Poet’s Magnum Opus Through the Unorthodox Lens of Fitzroy Street Art

deTour curated by: Unimelb, 2015

Classicists, as experts in a dying field, are invariably looking for ways to make other people enthusiastic about Greek and Roman literature. This tour will attempt, in a rather unusual manner, to utilize Fitzroy’s street art as a visual tool to explore some of the more intriguing themes of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, from madness to transformation itself.

Locations for deTour

Madness plays a key motivational role throughout the Metamorphoses. Temporary psychosis is utilised by the poet to excuse many of the most heinous crimes, from Philomela and Procne’s vengeful infanticide to Hades’ abduction of the innocent…

The undeniably frequent presence of rape in Ovid’s Metamorphoses remains a deeply problematic theme outside of its historical context. Nonetheless, its prevalence renders it impossible to ignore. The same might equally be said of the depiction of…

We have now arrived at the eponymous, overriding motif of the Metamorphoses: the metamorphosis itself. These transformations occur for a wide variety of reasons, and can be either self-effected, or brought about by some divine intervention. They may…

The transformations that occur in the Metamorphoses do not always involve a move between species, or from biotic to abiotic. The switching of genders is also an occasional occurrence, and one that is perhaps best explained by Roman literary…

One of the most significant themes of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, ironically, is what does not change. There are many instances within the poem of the transmogrified victim facing the consequences of their metamorphosis whilst still possessed of their…
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