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Ovid's Metamorphoses

Ovid’s Metamorphoses

Melanie (Penny) Du Bois

Three Tuesdays:
February 19 and 26 and March 5, 1-3 p.m.

Price: $75 ($70 members)

Metamorphoses: A Play, Mary Zimmerman
Metamorphoses: A New Translation, Charles Martin


REFUND POLICY: Please note that we can issue class refunds up until seven (7) days before the first class session.

Ovid’s great epic or anti-epic poem The Metamorphoses was considered dubious or second rate in periods of political and aesthetic solemnity, but in an age when camp, indeterminate endings, and ambiguous morality reign in art and entertainment, he attracts many imitators, translators and scholars. A brief course on Ovid leading up to an Arena Stage performance of Mary Zimmerman’s theatrical version will concentrate on analyzing the texts of its best-known stories. It is necessary to cover some background of Augustan Rome and Ovid’s constant allusion to other poets of his heritage to begin to understand the complicated suggestions of his text. We shall try to figure out how his racy satirical humor can intensify rather than cancel out pathos, horror, and humanity. We shall also consider the range of Ovid’s influence; he is the classical writer who has inspired not only other writers and playwrights, most notably Shakespeare, but also painters, sculptors, choreographers and musicians. Our discussions should prepare us to grasp and be grateful for Mary Zimmerman’s marvelous imagining of the myths. We shall read from Charles Martin’s delightful and helpful translation; selections for each class will be posted on the store web site.


Melanie (Penny) Du Bois has been a teacher of reading and literature for many decades, specializing for a long time in theatre. Branching out from English literature to works of many languages and periods and from university teaching to freelance courses for adults, she has taught several other courses at Politics & Prose, on reading, modern poetry, Pinter, Ibsen and Chekhov.






Promotional Period: 
Feb 19 2013 - Mar 5 2013

ISBN-13: 9780810119802
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Northwestern University Press, 3/2002

ISBN-13: 9780393326420
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company, 1/2005