Along with a group of others, I’m about to embark on studying Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Compared to Virgil’s Aeneid and Homer’s Iliad, Metamorphoses seems to be an easier read. It differs from the familiar epic in that there isn’t one narrator and one main protagonist, there are many stories told by many characters, They are all linked however by the theme of metamorphosis.
In a way this is a good time to be reading this book. We are living through a very strange time – unprecedented is a word I have heard so often in the last four months. We have all been forced to change our lives in a number of ways. Many feel that they have been changed into hermits. Our towns and villages have taken on quite different appearances – once bustling streets are now eerily quiet. We have changed character in the way we relate to others – staying two metres apart, not touching. Yes, our world has indeed been transformed and we can only wonder how it will look in the future.
Even our country’s climate has morphed into a different guise. We have had the wettest February followed by the driest spring and now some of the trees have leaves that are beginning to take on the colours of autumn. Our seasons seem to have lost their distinctive characteristics – another change we are experiencing. At least we haven’t woken to find ourselves as cockroaches like Gregor in Kafka’s novel!