Ovid Metamorphoses VIII 72-105

Set text + some analysis for 2011 AS Latin lines 72-105


Text 72-78

72. di facerent, sine patre forem! sibi quisque profecto

73. est deus: ignavis precibus Fortuna repugnat.

74. altera iamdudum succensa cupidine tanto

75. perdere gauderet, quodcumque obstaret amori.

76. et cur ulla foret me fortior? ire per ignes

77. et gladios ausim; nec in hoc tamen ignibus ullis

78. aut gladiis opus est, opus est mihi crine paterno.

1 of 10

Trans/Analysis 72-78 OVID

Let the Gods make it, that I would be without a father! - Everyone, indeed, is a God to himself: Fortune spurns idle prayers. Another woman, inflamed by passion so great, would have long since been happy to destroy whatever stood in the way of love. And why would any woman be bolder than I? I would dare to go through fire and swords; nor however in this situation is there any need for any fire or swords, I need my father's hair.

Juxtaposition of 'sibi quisque': 'Every man for himself', stresses that Scylla thinks only for herself.

Repetition of 'opus est': Highlights that Scylla is needy, she takes more than she deserves.

2 of 10

Text 79-84 OVID

79. illa mihi est auro pretiosior, illa beatam

80. purpura me votique mei factura potentem.'

81.      Talia dicenti curarum maxima nutrix

82. nox intervenit, tenebrisque audacia crevit.

83. prima quies aderat, qua curis fessa diurnis

84. pectora somnus habet: thalamos taciturna paternos

3 of 10

Trans/Analysis 79-84 OVID

That purple hair is more precious to me than gold, that purple hair is about to make me happy, and will make me mistress of my own wishes. As she uttered these things night, the greatest feeder of cares, intervened; and in the darkness her boldness grew. The first rest came, by which sleep seizes the weary breast from its daily cares: silently the daughter enters her father's...

Ellipsis of 'purpura': The three clauses (more precious...make me happy...make me mistress) all rely on the one word; this impresses on the reader the centrality of the hair to her plans.

Juxtaposition of 'nutrix nox': The similar sounding words suggest that Scylla is 'fed' by the night, and so comes up with dark, evil plans.

4 of 10

Text 85-91 OVID

85. intrat et (heu facinus!) fatali nata parentem

86. crine suum spoliat praedaque potita nefanda

87. fert secum spolium celeris, progressaque porta

88. per medios hostes (meriti fiducia tanta est ! )

89. pervenit ad regem; quem sic adfata paventem est:

90. 'Suasit amor facinus: proles ego regia Nisi

91. Scylla tibi trado patriaeque meosque penates;

5 of 10

Trans/Analysis 85-91 OVID

bedroom (what a crime!) and robs her own father of the fateful lock, having seized this prize which must not be spoken of, she carries it with her swiftly as a spoil, having gone out of the gate, right through the middle of the enemy (she has such great confidence in her good deed). She came to the king; thus she spoke to him who was shocked: 'Love persuaded me to this crime: I, Scylla, the daughter of Nisus, hand the kingdom and my household goods over to you;

Use of 'spoliat', 'praeda', 'potita': Tricolon of theft words and 'p' sounds, asserts Scylla's robbery and betrayal.

Juxtaposition of 'amor facinus': Implies that Scylla' love itself is a crime, as it caused her to betray her country.

6 of 10

Text 92-98 OVID

92. praemia nulla peto nisi te: cape pignus amoris

93. purpureum crinem nec me nunc tradere crinem,

94. sed patrium tibi crede caput!' scelerataque dextra

95. munera porrexit; Minos porrecta refugit

96. turbatusque novi respondit imagine facti:

97. 'di te summoveant, o nostri infamia saecli,

98. orbe suo, tellusque tibi pontusque negetur!

7 of 10

Translation/Analysis, 92-98 OVID

I seek no reward except you: take this purple hair as a pledge of my love, and believe I do not hand over the hair but my father's head to you!' And with her right hand she handed over her wicked prize. Minos fled at the proffered gifts and disturbed by this image he replied to the unprecedented deed. May the Gods drive you away, from their world, o disgrace of our century, and may the earth and sea be denied you!

Repetition of imperative 'cape'/'crede': Emphasises Scylla's desperation and insistence.

'Porrexit' at the end of the sentence: Leaves the sentence hanging...depicts Scylla with her arm outstretched, and Minos refusing to take it.

Juxtaposition of 'turbatusque novi': Plays on the Roman's fear of new things/revolution, Scylla is 'stirring up' the situation and this makes her seem dangerous.

Parallelism 'praemia nulla peto nisi': Stresses that Scylla is focused entirely on Minos, the object of her desire.

8 of 10

Text 99-105 OVID

99. certe ego non patiar Iovis incunabula, Creten,

100. qui meus est orbis, tantum contingere monstrum.'

101.     Dixit, et ut leges captis iustissimus auctor

102. hostibus inposuit, classis retinacula solvi

103. iussit et aeratas impelli remige puppes.

104. Scylla freto postquam deductas nare carinas

105. nec praestare ducem sceleris sibi praemia vidit, 

9 of 10

Translation/Analysis, 99-105 OVID

I shall certainly not allow Crete the birthplace of Jupiter, which is my world, to touch such a great portent. He spoke, and as the most just authority he imposed laws on his captured enemy, and he ordered the hawsers of his fleet to be untied and his bronze ships to be driven away with oars. Scylla, after she saw that the boats had been drawn down and were floating in the sea, and did not see the leader offering her prizes for her crime...

Contrast of 'orbe suo' and 'meus est orbis': Divides Scylla's and Minos' world, she, a traitor, doesn't belong in his world and will never be with him.

'Iustissimus': The superlative stresses that he remains just; this further separates him from Scylla.

Tricolon of authoritative words (non patiar/imposuit/iussit): Minos remains in control.

Poetic words (puppes/freto/carinas): Reinforces the similarity to a common poetic trope; [used in Ariadne/Theseus]; the lover abandoned on the shore as he sails away; Scylla is abandoned because she is disloyal and sexually motivated; a further twist is that Ariadne (the abandoned) was Cretan, whereas this time the Cretan (Minos) is abandoning Scylla.

Chiasmus (105) 'p/s/s/p': Emphasizes Scylla's disappointment, brackets 'ducem' stressing Minos' role.

10 of 10


No comments have yet been made

Similar Latin resources:

See all Latin resources »