Heroides by Harold OvidHeroides by Harold Ovid


byHarold OvidTranslated byHarold IsbellIntroduction byHarold Isbell

Paperback | October 2, 1990

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In the twenty-one poems of the Heroides, Ovid gave voice to the heroines and heroes of epic and myth. These deeply moving literary epistles reveal the happiness and torment of love, as the writers tell of their pain at separation, forgiveness of infidelity or anger at betrayal. The faithful Penelope wonders at the suspiciously long absence of Ulysses, while Dido bitterly reproaches Aeneas for too eagerly leaving her bed to follow his destiny, and Sappho—the only historical figure portrayed here—describes her passion for the cruelly rejecting Phaon. In the poetic letters between Paris and Helen the lovers seem oblivious to the tragedy prophesied for them, while in another exchange the youthful Leander asserts his foolhardy eagerness to risk his life to be with his beloved Hero.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Ovid (43 BC-AD 17) was born in central Italy. He was sent to Rome where he realised that his talent lay with poetry rather than with politics. His first published work was 'Amores', a collection of short love poems. He was expelled in A.D. 8 by Emperor Augustus for an unknown reason and went to Tomis on the Black Sea, where he died.
Title:HeroidesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 7.79 × 5.08 × 0.68 inPublished:October 2, 1990Publisher:Penguin Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0140423559

ISBN - 13:9780140423556

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Table of Contents

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

From Our Editors

Ovid’s Heroides delves into the hearts and minds of classical myth’s most remarkable women including Penelope, Dido and Ariadne, expressing a wide range of emotions through the unique form of poetic letters from the women to their absent lovers. The book’s final double letters show legendary heroes like Paris initiating correspondence, and their lovers’ responses. Dramatizing the tension between private love and public law, the love letters are written at critical moments, expressing the character’s own interpretation of love’s absurdity, rage, gentleness, anguish and desire. Ovid’s verse-letter form is ideal to express love’s folly, poetry and irony. Translator Harold Isbell perfectly captures Ovid’s subtlety and vivacity.