What is the exemption of responsibilities from attackers in Ovid’s Metamorphoses?
Through the study of the already mentioned cases, all sorts of exemption of responsibilities from attackers can be encountered. Daphne’s beauty is presented as a cause of her disgrace “Daphne’s peculiar beauty and personal charm were powerful bars to her prayer’s fulfillment”. Juno speaks about Séleme as if she became pregnant herself without the intervention of Jove: “She might be content with a secret liaison; the insult to me may be short-lived. But no, she has got herself pregnant!”. Furthermore, Jupiter often appears coated with a patina of savior transforming his own victims to save them from the subsequent Juno’s punishment as if this could grant him full redemption: “they were wafted together and granted places in heaven as neighboring constellations”.
The reasons for Ovid portraying all these women -mostly innocent and chaste nymphs- in such manner is subject of debate. First of all, it as to be taken into account that those myths are no originals from Ovid. They came mostly from Greek myths. In Greek myth, the union between gods and mortals (also with the common pattern of male gods with nymphs) were assumed to be more a ‘seduction-abduction-consent” pattern. It is assumed that be chosen
by a god would be ultimately pleasant, and the entire family of the chosen one can reach a glorious status. In this sense, women are more victimized in Ovid’s Metamorphoses; he highlights the suffering of being raped, rejected and blamed.