Compare and Contrast
This paper seeks to analyze the similarities and differences between two Ovidian tales: Io and Jupiter and Ceres and Proserpina. In the tale of Io and Jupiter, the former (Io) is described as the priestess of Juno the Roman goddess and Jupiter as the god of thunder and the sky. Ceres is goddess of crop and agriculture the Earth goddess. Proserpina is described as the goddess of the Underworld. She is also an enchanting young girl and wife to Liber. She is a Roman goddess and believed to be a life-death-rebirth deity. Her story is based on a myth of springtime. Calliope praises Ceres because she first broke the glebe with plow that is crooked, gave the earth its wholesome food and fruit, gave the first laws and all things she did came to pass. Going by the description of the identities of individual characters, their actions and behaviors, aspects of family life, love, fertility, jealousy, and infidelity dominate both tales.
The family life and the perpetual care of a mother seem critical at all the stages in the lives of characters in both tales. Ceres looks for her daughter everywhere but fails to get her. "Now it befell when Proserpine was lost, her anxious mother sought through every land and every sea in vain, she rested not (438). Proserpine later returns to her mother from the underworld after a long time. She confesses to her mother that she had eaten the four pomegranate seeds when she was in the underworld with Pluto. Ceres confronts Jupiter, the mediator of rivals urges that Proserpine has to divide her year into two. She was to spend six months with her mother, and the rest six with the god of the underworld, Pluto. Ceres argues that her daughter is not worthy being forced to get married to a bandit-chief, and that her daughters charms should not reward his crime.
Family life is further reflected in the relationships between various characters in Io and Jupiter and Ceres and Proserpina. Ceres was the earth goddess and goddess of corn while Proserpine was the goddess of the underworld. Ceres is the mother to Proserpine. The valley of Enna is believed to own its beauty to the presence of Ceres. She was the wisest of all the goddesses. Everything that grew on the earth was hers, from vegetation to the spring waters. Proserpine comes across a strange flower as she plays in the meadows of Enna with other children of her age. Stricken by cupids dart, Pluto seizes Proserpine after seeing her, lashes his horses to greater speed and carries her away to the underworld.
Certain characters are depicted as harboring jealousy and hatred against others. Io and Jupiter describes Juno as the queen of the gods and wife of Jupiter. Ceres, on the other hand, is the corn and earth goddess. Juno, the undisputed queen of the gods, is always vengeful and jealous about relationships that go on between other people. Juno made haste, inflamed with towering rage, to vent her wrath on Io; and she raised in thought and vision of the Grecian girl a dreadful Fury, (724). On the contrary, Ceres has a loving heart. Ceres loves her daughter and she is not happy when she gets abducted and suddenly married by Pluto. All the gods and the goddesses have power and can change something to another form. She believes her Proserpine is valuable and mostly fears for her because she is a virgin.
The aspect of love and care is also manifest in the actions and interactions of characters. Both Ceres and Proserpine share a relationship of mother and daughter, and the former seems much more obsessed with her daughter. While Proserpine was dallying in a groove plucking sweet violets and white lilies, sudden love catches Pluto and he carries her away an indication of display play of the theme of powers. The goddess calls her mom in great fear and all her friends. Her flowers that are gathered from the loosened tunic down from the upper edge. This mishap increased her virgin grief since she was innocent as a child. The ravisher inspired his steeds and urged on his chariot. He calls each by their names and they shock their black-rusted rein son their manes and necks. They quickly go through the deep lakes and the pools of Palici which smelled of sulphur that is strong as they boiled upwards from the ruptured words. A moon-like pool lies midway between the streams of Arethusa and Cyane. That pool was always called after Cyane, a god who ever on top of other Nymphs in that land.
Meanwhile, Proserpine recognized the god as she mounted on top of around middle waves that circled her thighs. Cyane grieves when she realizes Pluto had taken Proserpine in secret. She says that it us better to refuse a mothers aid that to drag her kid away. The son of Satan urges his steeds, blazes his uncontrollable rage and hurled his scepter in the pool. Cyane mournfully grieves because according to her, the goddess in her has been torn. Her members began wasting away: ever part that is slender melted in the pool, her hones begin to bend, her breasts and her sides vanished into rivulet snails get soft. While she changes, her faulty veins were filled with water instead of living blood, and nothing remained of her.
Finally, some characters show true love and passion for others in both tales. Proserpine, for instance, was a sacred pledge and a care to Ceres. Acknowledging the truth that her daughter is now married to the god of the underworld would be a deed of love and not injuries. She still wants Proserpine to remain in heaven if his fixed desire compels dissent. Her appearance and mind is transformed and despite seeming sad in Plutos eyes, she now becomes a joyful goddess. Her beaming smiles made the sun shine in splendour forth. When it was time for Proserpine to go back to Pluto, nature slept for some time, but Ceres and the peasants knew that she would come back.
In conclusion, the identities of individual characters, their actions and behaviors bring attention to elements of family life, love, fertility, jealousy, and infidelity dominate Io and Jupiter and Ceres and Proserpina. Juno is the jealous queen of all the gods. She is jealous about the close association between her husband Jupiter and Io. When Jupiter falls in love with Io, he is forced to change himself into a dark cloud to avoid the wrath of his jealous wife. At some point, Juno made Io a prisoner into the shape of a cow. Meanwhile, Ceres is the goddess of the earth and therefore controls all vegetation. Contrary to Ceress good attitude and hospitality, Juno is jealous when she realizes her husband is having an affair with Io. Lastly, the family life and the perpetual care of a mother seem critical at all the stages in the lives of characters as reflected in the relationship between Ceres and her daughter.
Ovid, Metamorphoses 1. Io and Jupiter, Book 1: #7, retrieved from: http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidMetamorphoses1.html
Ovid, Metamorphoses 5. Ceres and Proserpina, Book 5: #4, retrieved from: http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidMetamorphoses5.html
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