Sederi 29 — 2019
María José Mora
Clark Hulse, “Ovid’s urban metamorphosis.” SEDERI 29 (2019): 85–108.
In Book XV of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Pythagoras meditates on the rise and fall of cities and foresees that the survival of Rome requires turning from war to the “arts of peace.” Once ancient Rome has fallen, its urban imagery hybridizes with a Biblical counter-imagery in which God wills the ruination of Rome and other centers of wickedness. Through this Ovidian/Pythagorean lens, this essay then examines how Spenser confronts the fall and rise and possible fall again of early modern London, with glances also at Shakespeare and Dryden. This Ovidian model creates challenges of identity, belief, and ethical obligation that result in an “outward turn” of the theme of metamorphosis toward its social boundary.
Keywords: Ovid; Spenser; Shakespeare; Dryden; Metamorphosis; City; Rome; London.
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