St. scholasticas college manila

ST. SCHOLASTICAS COLLEGE MANILA 2560 Leon Guinto Street, Malate, Manila Art, Love and Transformation: A Mirror of Classical Literature By: Katherine F. Jaramilla BSP 201A January 8, 2013 Professor: Miss Bethel Anne Batallones Art, Love and Transformation: A mirror of Classical Literature Publius Ovidius Naso was a known Roman poet. He was also recognized as a canonical poet of Latin literature. In his works, wide ranges of meters were used. Ovid believed that love can transform or change us, be it in good or bad way. Most of his works were about love and transformations and one of it is the popular book Metamorphoses that includes the story of Pygmalion and the Statue (“ Literature of Ancient Rome”, n. d). This paper aims to discuss how art, love and transformation reflect the Classical period. Art during the classical period was evident in Rome (“ Classical period”, n. d). Although Rome was artistically influenced by Greeks, Romans originally invented the idea of realistic portrait sculptures. Roman sculptures were more detailed because wax death masks were often used for sculpting. Architecture was one of the greatest innovations of Romans. Nonetheless, paintings and sculpting were greatly exercised. Especially when Augustus ordered that monuments that proves the glory, influence and power of Rome should be build, and thus sculpting idealized bodies and poses were made (Freeman, 2011). Pygmalion the main character in the story Pygmalion and the Statute is a sculptor. During the said period sculpting god and goddesses was evident; perhaps people do that for self expression, livelihood, to unwind or to spend their free time. For Pygmalion he created a statue for it was his hobby. The sculptures made in this period were also the model of spiritual and physical perfection and most of the time sculptures of gods are being made. In the other hand Pygmalion made an ivory maid. During the classical period myths were the basis of religion. Romans conquered a lot of regions including Greece. Romans did not only conquer the region however, they also adopted its religion including its god and goddesses. Nonetheless, Romans named these deities differently and adjusted or enhanced their characteristics making them more belligerent compared in the Greek culture. Romans looked upon the deities as holy, respectable and powerful beings. So did Pygmalion: First, he offered sacrifices to Venus — the goddess of love and beauty “ With gilded horns the milk-white heifers led, slaughtered before the altars, bled: Pygmalion offering, first approached the shrine” (Smith, 1921). Second, He prayed to Venus that she may give life to his ivory maid but he was ashamed to asked that kind of prayer rather he just changed his prayer to “ Give me the likeliness of my Ivory maid” (Smith, 1921). It showed how powerful they saw Venus that even one asked for another prayer she will still know what ones heart truly desires. Love was also evident, although it started from passion that turned in to desire and lust. At one point Pygmalion was already obsessed with the statue “ His hand had made dint, and hurt is Maid: Explored her, limb by limb, and feared to find. So rude a gripe had left a livid mark behind” (Smith, 1921). Furthermore, He was not yet contented in lusting on the body of the statue, he also believed that the statute is alive that he even courted it “ And now with gifts (the powerful bribe of love): He furnishes her closet first; and fills the crowded shelves with rarities of shells; and all the sparkling stones of various hue” (Smith, 1921). As John Green (2012) says life can be really unpredictable and the future is unknown. For Pygmalion who never taught he would fall in love turned to a passionate lover. Everything changes, If there is one thing that is permanent it in this world it will always be change or nevertheless transformation. From seasons that changes to the way we live, from government to the way we look at things, all of these changes time to time. Like the Roman republic that once had dictatorial government ruled by Julius Caesar but eventually changes to a monarchical empire under Augustus or the Roman imperial period- a period wherein Ovid was one of the known writers (Spiro, n. d). Ovid’s Book of Metamorphoses is all about transformation. Pygmalion who disgusted the obscene lives of woman before and despised the idea of having a wife changed in to a lustful man, he became the person that practiced what he hated before. He gave everything he can for his statue and most surprising he even thought to ask Venus to make his statue alive. And another transformation in story was when the statue really did turn to a real human being, with life, senses, and ability to give birth. I believe that a work of literature is a reflection of a writer’s environment. The way a writer thinks, writes, understands, and perceives can be greatly affected by his surrounding, by the way he was nurtured. Making any work written in a specific literary period truly encompasses the characteristics of the said period. The Pygmalion and Statue can really reflect the life or culture during the Classical period. A culture were in art was abundant, where people were passionate and transformation that happens in every single aspect of life. References: Freeman, G. (2011). An Introduction to Greek and Roman Art. Retrieved from January 3, 2013 from http://www. slideshare. net/gwfreeman/classical-art Green, J. (2012). Abundance of katherines. United States of America: Speak Ken Spiro. The Romans (n. d). Retrieved December 29, 2012 from http://www. simpletoremember. com/articles/a/the_romans/ Literature of Ancient Rome. (n. d). Retrieved from January 4, 2013 from http://www. paralumun. com/romelit. htm Pygmalion and the Statue, Literature two handout The Classical Period. (n. d). Retrieved January 3, 2013 from http://www. theartfile. com/ArtFile/history/classicperiod. shtml