“No rake had been familiar with the earth,
no plowshare had yet wronged her; untaxed she gave
of herself freely, providing all essentials.” (Ovid Book I 141-43)
In the beginning, all was simple and peaceful. The earth provided what was needed, and man exerted very little effort in attaining what they needed. However, as the seasons changed and man was forced to apply itself to finding and building shelter, it also began to understand the value in using the earth for production. As time progressed, man shed its earlier traits of “modesty, fidelity, and truth” for “fraud, guile, deceit, ...violence, and shameful lusting.” (175-77) Ovid illustrates for the reader the humble, but serene beginnings of the world and how mankind has destroyed that simplicity in its quest for more. The reader is left to ponder what existence may be missing as mankind is left to fend for itself on the earth, abandoned for its disregard of the earth’s love and dedication.
Ovid (30 CE). Metamorphoses. Tr. Charles Martin. New York: Norton, 2004.
2 years ago