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Reflections in a Serpent's Eye – Thebes in Ovid's Metamorphoses - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Reflections in a Serpent's Eye: Thebes in Ovid's Metamorphoses

Micaela Janan


Ovid's extraordinary story of Thebes' founding and bloody unravelling spans Books 2 and 3 of his epic poem, the Metamorphoses. His bizarre refractions of the well‐ordered community mirror Ovid's own Rome and the mythohistory of its origins, most particularly as framed in Vergil's Aeneid. The Aeneid has regularly been read as, demonstrating how and why Rome will stride forward into history and an ‘empire without end’. This book uses the psychoanalytic theory of Freud and Lacan to argue that The Metamorphoses' strangely fantastical surface reflects what is already inherently perverse in that mas ... More

Keywords: Ovid, Vergil, Metamorphoses, Aeneid, psychoanalysis, Freud, Lacan, city‐foundation, epic, identity, Thebes, Rome, Actaeon, Narcissus, Pentheus

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780199556922
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199556922.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Micaela Janan, author
Associate Professor of Classical Studies, Duke University
Author Webpage