Analyzing Ovid's The Metamorphoses

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During an attempt to describe the complex and difficult task of translating, Tim Parks once said, “[The translator] sets out to rewrite this impossibly complex thing in his own language, re-elaborating everything, changing everything in order that it remain the same, or as close as possible to his experience of the original.” The experience Parks speaks of is different for every person who attempts to recreate or translate a work of literature. This explains why there are sometimes several different versions of the same story. Charles Martin and Gianlorenzo Bernini have their own original experience and interpretation of Ovid’s “Apollo and Daphne” in The Metamorphoses. Their translations contain several similarities and differences which can…show more content…
With this being said, Bernini’s sculpture is an example of how the Greeks loved the idea of chasing something and getting very close to having it, but never actually receiving it. Once Apollo’s chase for Daphne finally ended and he was able to come close and touch Daphne, everywhere he touched turned into bark. Apollo became so close to having the girl, but he only received her in the form of a tree. In Martin’s translation of the myth, he uses the term “girdled” which means that something circles or confines another object according to the Merriam Webster Dictionary. The term girdled insinuates that she was completely covered, whereas Bernini’s sculpture only shows the places that Apollo touches. Though both can display the concept of almost having what one wants, Bernini’s sculpture is a better example of the Greek’s common…show more content…
Martin translated lines 756-763 of Ovid’s “Apollo and Daphne” into the format of another text, whereas Bernini translated the same lines using the art of sculpting. The difference of the format alone is enough to appeal to difference audiences. Bernini using the format of sculpture attracts individuals who are more appreciative of aesthetic beauty as well as the ambiguousness of art. According to Dr. Claudia Muth, ambiguous artworks grant satisfaction to individuals who find pleasure in the process of reducing their curiosity about the piece of work. Unlike Bernini’s sculpture, Martin’s translation is in the form of a text which allows the audience to create their own image of the scene while reading the lines that describe it. For visual learners who like the challenge of figuring out the ambiguousness of art, Bernini’s sculpture would be an ideal way to learn and interpret the story since it has a physical image, so one can actually see Daphne’s emotions and actions expressed. For audiences that prefer reading the story so they can create their own image, Martin’s translation would be

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