Metamorphoses

Metamorphoses

by

Ovid

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Metamorphoses: Book 4: Mars and Venus Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
After the story of Pyramus and Thisbe, Minyas’s second daughter tells the story of Mars and Venus: once, the Sun god discovered the god Venus having an affair with the god Mars. The Sun god tells Vulcan of his wife Venus’s infidelity. Distraught, Vulcan weaves a net and sets it as a trap around his bed. Venus later enters the bedroom with Mars and the net traps them while they are having sex on the bed. Vulcan then opens the bedroom doors and lets all the gods laugh at Venus and Mars, caught and ashamed.
This story of the gods’ affairs paints the gods’ world as petty and ridiculous. Their affairs aren’t elevated above those of humans; they have personal dramas, sleep around, and gossip about each other. In some ways, the human world seems elevated above the world of the gods; they have stories such as that of Pyramus and Thisbe, for instance. The gods, although all-powerful, are not necessarily more dignified because of it.
Themes
Gods and Humans Theme Icon