Ovid's Metamorphoses: Mars and Venus

In this famous incident, the god Vulcan (Hephaestus) learns that his wife, the goddess Venus (Aphrodite), is having an affair with Mars (Ares), the god of war. Infuriated, Vulcan plots his revenge, using his metal-working skills.

[Notes by LKG]

This story is part of the Ovid's Metamorphoses unit. Story source: Ovid's Metamorphoses, translated by Tony Kline (2000).


Mars and Venus

Love even takes Sol prisoner, who rules all the stars with his light. I will tell you about his amours. He was the first god they say to see the adulteries of Venus and Mars: he sees all things first. He was sorry to witness the act, and he told her husband Vulcan, son of Juno, of this bedroom intrigue, and where the intrigue took place.  Vulcan’s heart dropped, and he dropped in turn the craftsman’s work he held in his hand.

Immediately he began to file thin links of bronze, for a net, a snare that would deceive the eye. The finest spun threads, those the spider spins from the rafters, would not better his work. He made it so it would cling to the smallest movement, the lightest touch, and then artfully placed it over the bed.

When the wife and the adulterer had come together on the one couch, they were entangled together, surprised in the midst of their embraces, by the husband’s craft, and the new method of imprisonment he had prepared for them.

The Lemnian, Vulcan, immediately flung open the ivory doors, and let in the gods. There the two lay shamefully bound together, and one of the gods, undismayed, prayed that he might be shamed like that. And the gods laughed. And for a long time it was the best-known story in all the heavens.





(300 words)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments for Google accounts; you can also contact me at laura-gibbs@ou.edu.