Word pictures : visualising with Ovid
Please cite as follows:
Claassen, J.-M. 2013. Word Pictures: Visualising with Ovid. Acta Classica 56: 29-54.
The original publication is available at http://www.casa-kvsa.org.za/acta_classica.htm
See also - Sabinet Reference Online for the original publication - http://reference.sabinet.co.za/document/EJC146656
Ovid verbally portrays three different modes of ‘seeing’. In the Metamorphoses readers mentally ‘watch’ his various protagonists seeing or being seen. In the elegiac poetry readers are often induced to share the field of vision of his protagonists. In Amores 3.2 and Ars Amatoria 1.135ff., readers ‘look’ with the lover and his mistress during ‘a day at the races’, virtually becoming both protagonists. In the exilic poems Ovid is sole viewer. ‘Something he saw that ruined him’ looms large in his imagination. The exile begins to rely solely on mental vision, ‘seeing’ the sights of Rome, conjuring up distant friends into his presence. Readers ‘see’ the lonely exile being comforted by his own inner vision.