Ovid - Author

Harold Isbell - Translator

Harold Isbell - Introduction by

Harold Isbell - Notes by

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ISBN 9780140423556 | 288 pages | 02 Oct 1990 | Penguin Classics | 5.07 x 7.79in | 18 - AND UP
Summary of Heroides Summary of Heroides Reviews for Heroides An Excerpt from Heroides

Written in the form of poetic letters from women to their absent lovers, the first fifteen of the Heroides sensitively portray a range of emotions from love to anger at betrayal. By means of this unusual art form, Ovid personalizes and brings to life many of the outstanding women of classical myth, such as Penelope, Dido and Ariadne. The final 'double letters' of the book allow legendary heroes such as Paris to initiate the correspondence and their lovers to respond to their pleas. All the letters are alive with the tension between private love and public law; each is written in the urgency of a moment of crisis, the writer is impressing his or her own character on love's irrationality, fury, tenderness, despair and longing. And while Ovid's verse-letter form, so slyly perfect to convey the follies of love, makes the Heroides rich in irony, it is richer still in poetry and desire. Harold Isbell's translation and metre perfectly capture the lightness and nuances of Ovid's original.

Heroides Introduction
I: Penelope to Ulysses
II: Phyllis to Demophoon
III: Briseis to Achilles
IV: Phaedra to Hippolytus
V: Oenone to Paris
VI: Hypsipyle to Jason
VII: Dido to Aeneas
VIII: Hermione to Orestes
IX: Deianira to Hercules
X: Ariadne to Theseus
XI: Canace to Macareus
XII: Medea to Jason
XIII: Laodamia to Protesilaus
XIV: Hypermestra to Lynceus
XV: Sappho to Phaon
XVI: Paris to Helen
XVII: Helen to Paris
XVIII: Leander to Hero
XIX: Hero to Leander
XX: Acontius to Cydippe
XXI: Cydippe to Acontius
Appendix 1: Principal Characters
Appendix 2: Index of Names