Book One

The Creation

From Ovid's Metamorphoses

Site last updated on April 3, 2020

 

Introduction

My story is titled 'The Creation' and is the first poem in The Metamorphoses. The poem starts with a direct account from Ovid, who begs the gods to bless his literary masterpiece: The Metamorphoses itself. It then switches to describing ‘the creation’ of the universe and explains how the world was once a single unstable orb, before it expanded and separated into land, sea, and air. 'The Creation' is one of the few sections in The Metamorphoses that is not centered around a set of main characters; rather it describes the birth of the earth in a chronological, historical manner. By choosing to start his epic with the origin of the earth, Ovid helps the reader put other characters and events in perspective. For example, later in 'The Creation', we hear about how humans were created. This nicely sets up the next story in The Metamorphoses: the 'Ages of Mankind', which recounts the progression of man through the gold, silver, and iron ages. 'The Creation' is a mesmerizing story that sets the mystical tone of the rest of Ovid's poems.