Elena Heran

Elena Heran (PhD in Classics & Archaeology, 2023), ‘Sidelining the Feminine in Ovid’s Metamorphoses’

This thesis answers two key questions regarding the treatment of gender in Ovid’s Metamorphoses: 1) How does the poem utilise mythical narratives in order to explore peculiarly Roman masculine concerns and anxieties, such as fatherhood, the transition from boy to man, the tension between sexual desire and the masculine ideal of self-control, the social problem of female desire, and the maintenance of one’s personal reputation in the homosocial sphere? 2) In the course of these explorations, in what ways does the poem marginalise and oversimplify the experiences of its female characters? In answering these two intertwined questions, the thesis will demonstrate both the enduring relevance of Ovid’s text as a site for feminist rereading, and the importance of considering women’s perspectives in any discussion of patriarchal expectations and their effects on the individual.

Supervisors: Professor Tim Parkin, Associate Professor K O Chong-Gossard, Professor Parshia Lee-Stecum