n Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa - Word pictures : visualising with Ovid

Volume 56, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0065-1141
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Ovid verbally portrays three different modes of 'seeing'. In the 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 3.2 and 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.

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