The Story of Pygmalion – Book Report/Review Example
The paper "The Story of Pygmalion" is a great example of a literature book review.
Ovid’s Metamorphoses is a composition of 15 books with more than 250 myths, which significantly narrates the story of transformation. The transformations taking place within the various groups of people and objects are quite different from one another.
In this book, Ovid describes Pygmalion in relation to Orpheus, portraying them as literal twins. The union of Orpheus and Eurydice is foreshowed by the story of Pygmalion. Evidently, Ovid tries to draw parallels between the lives of the two men. For a start, he compares Orpheus loss of his lover to that of Pygmalion’s, where he loses love for women following his encounter with Propoetides prostitution. The two try to regain their love for their women in different and parallel fashion. Orpheus uses a song to regain his woman, while Pygmalion tries to recover his love to women through the use of sculpture made of ivory. “He took to art, Ingenious as he was, and made a creature more beautiful than any girl on earth, a miracle of ivory in a statue” (Gadd). Both Orpheus and Pygmalion’s use of art is successful. In the general view of the book, Pygmalion is the only one viewed as successful and Orpheus is seen to have lost. His loss is accredited to his loss of his wife, while Pygmalion’s success is attributed to him gaining a wife. It is therefore natural that Pygmalion’s success foreshadows that of Orpheus.
However, the story of Cerastae is somewhat different. Cerastae was a combination of serpent and bull. This group of people used to live on the island of Cyprus, which is considered a sacred place and the place of Venus. At the city entrance, there was an altar dedicated to Jupiter and the Cerastae sacrificed the ones who visited the island of Cyprus. Venus got angry at their crime and cursed them to be changed into bulls (Galinsky 1975 92).
Thus from the tales of Pygmalion and Orpheus, we can draw a common theme, which is love. Nevertheless, the story of Cerastae tells us of hatred, crime, and violence. Orpheus and Pygmalion were transformed as they were immensely desired by their lovers but Cerastae was transformed as he committed the crime of killing people. Thus it can be concluded from both the tales that the statement, “Pygmalion is no different from the Cerastae” is not true at all.