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Title: Personification in Ovid's Metamorphoses : Innuidia, Fames, Somnus, Fama
Author: Shiaele, Maria
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2012
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Modern scholarship on the Metamorphoses has frequently focused on the shifting character of the poem mainly produced by the constant variation in tone and diverse subject matter. Particular emphasis has fallen on the multiple stylistic features Ovid uses to appeal to a learned audience. This thesis focuses on and explores the use of personification ekphraseis which are illustrative examples of the poet's innovative technique, wit and style. Four major personified figures, Inuidia, Fames, Somnus and Fama play significant roles and figure prominently in the books where they appear. The study is divided into four main chapters where the four extended personification ekphraseis are individually treated. Each setting that Ovid creates for the figures bears its own corresponding reality. So their presence in the different episodes becomes both natural and amusing. Ovid displays a certain structural progression in the use of personification beginning with theriomorphic representations (Inuidia, Fames) and ending with more abstract descriptions (Somnus, Fama). The discussion also focuses on the various ways Ovid uses personification and offers close readings of thematic links and literary echoes. This study re-examines the aesthetics and narrative significance of the personification ekphraseis. It argues that, although connected to the rhetorical technique of enargeia and thus closely attached to the simple poetic intent of enlivening the style, the personifications have broader thematic implications which make them precious in the study of Ovid's ingenium. The initial question of how Ovid incorporates the four personifications in the narrative of each myth is developed into a broader investigation of their relevance in the world of the poem. The discussion leads to the conclusion that Inuidia, Fames, Somnus and Fama as poetic devices are both representative samples of stylistic ornamentation that enable the visual perception of what Ovid is describing and markers of generic boundaries between elegy and epic; the indiscriminate blending of epic and un-epic terminology creates a strong connection with the poet's aims stated in the opening lines of the Metamorphoses. In this sense, the four personification ekphraseis figure as reflections both of the poet and the poem.
Supervisor: Maltby, Robert ; Belcher, Kenneth Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available