Indecent Aspirations

The crux of Ovid's argument seems to rest on the idea that human beings have, since creation, never been able to achieve 'godliness' and in their flawed nature as humans, always damn themselves or their neighbors. Since we are human, we are automatically "marked by hatred of the Gods, by cruelty and eagerness for slaughter." Like the race of giants whose remains come to form the shape of humans, our aspirations at greatness are forever stricken at the 'base' as Mount Olympus was. Narcissus, though not a mortal man, was punished for his behavior as one; for his pride and arrogance. Echo is punished for her attempt at misleading Juno, an immortal much greater than her. Pygmalion, though he is rewarded after a fashion (one could argue that he is deeply disturbed), it is for his rejection of indecent women that he is rewarded; for his rejection of humanness. He prefers a statue. Poor Orpheus, in his human desire to look back, is plunged into eternal despair, after failing in his one chance to please the immortals.

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