The motif of love in the work of Ovid

Keywords: Ovid, elegy, didactic poem, love, game, affection.


The theme of love is one of the leading places in the literature. This motive is, on the one hand, the common thing that unites creativity of artists of different epochs and countries, and on the other – demonstrates the historical variability of moral and ethical views on the concept of love. The
concept of love in the work of the great Roman poet Ovid is a vivid example of the modification of this notion in the context of the culture of antiquity.
Ovid, а famous love singer» in «World Literature», perpetuates the feeling in such works as «Love Elegy» («Amores»), «Heroides», «The Art of Love» («Ars
amatoria»), «Cure for love» («Remedia amoris»), «Metamorphosis» («Metamorphoses»). He not only theoretically comprehends the category of love
and its components («Love Elegy»), but also gives practical advice to men and women about, for example, how to keep your love longer, how to look and behave, to attract your second half, etc. («The art of love»).
Thinking of love, Ovid is still hiding his feelings. A number of researchers (V. Aleksieiev, M. Hasparov, A. Sodomora, B. Shalaginov, S. Shervinsky, L. Maistrenko) consider love in Ovid’s works as a poetic theme. It is not concrete, but abstract. Therefore, in the opinion of L. Maistrenko, it is in vain to look in Ovid’s poems something individual. The poet was interested only in the conditional, expressed by verbal skills.
Instead, the individual author’s expression of love motif appears in Ovid as a processing literary material by the artist. He, unlike other authors of elegy,
does not escape into the fictional world of his poetry. He is interested in and attracts today, accordingly, and his love is real, without decorations, as it is in
life. «A tight erotic color» (B. Shalaginov), a metaphorical comparison of love with the war, where it is as difficult to win a woman as a fortress, and every one in love is a soldier, distinguishing the poetry of the artist and individualizing it.
Consequently, the cycle of elegies «Amores» and the didactic poem «The Art of Love» by Ovid demonstrate a modification of the concept of love through
the prism of the artist’s worldview. Antiquity did not know the Christian love, which is based on the spiritual principle, and expressed this feeling in a different way. For Roman culture, the notion of «love» envisaged a kind of pleasant rest,
«enlightened leisure».


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Author Biography

Yulia Brodiuk, Pereiaslav-Khmelnytsky Hryhorii Skovoroda State Pedagogical University

Candidate of Philological Sciences
Associate Professor

How to Cite
Brodiuk, Y. (2020). The motif of love in the work of Ovid. Theoretical and Didactic Philology, (33), 4-12. Retrieved from