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The Rape Of Proserpine And A Modern Debate

2436 words - 10 pages

Kevin Okerio
ENG 209-008
9 December 2015

The Rape of Proserpine and a Modern Debate

The Rape of Proserpine and Modern Debates
Over the past years, the development of feminism has had a dramatic influence on socio-cultural perceptions of the female persona as well as crime control. The rapid transformation of feminism has generated a significant lot of public engagement efforts in an attempt to mitigate the impact and the rapid spread of rape culture. Such apparent efforts have led to the establishment of numerous lobby groups besides the institution of laws and legislation that are particularly inclined towards gender equality apart from breaking age-old ...view middle of the document...

Cyane later laments for what Hades has done calling it rape and withdraws into her pool and soon vanishes. Arguably, this anecdote exhibits some common characteristics of rape with respect to recent rape cases. For instance, the use of force as depicted in Ovid’s Metamorphoses alludes with current rape cases such as Bill Cosby’s rape scandal where he is alleged to have forced several women into submission. Another common trait in rape cases is male dominance. A critical analysis of this tale in relation with Cosby’s case will demonstrate the congruent nature of rape between past and present societies. Decisively, this analysis will present the impacts and harms of rape and destructive socio-cultural norms and why they should be outlawed if not met with stiff penalties.
The Rape of Proserpine and Modern Debates: Summary
Ovid’s Metamorphoses are filled with cultural allusions and especially ‘The rape of Proserpine.’ The main theme in this particular piece revolves around rape and male dominance as illustrated by the acts of Hades. Likewise, this piece features minor themes such as anger and turmoil that are common in a significant number of rape cases. For instance, the tale tells of Ceres’ anger apart from her daughter’s, Proserpine, who is taken by Hades to the underworld. From the commencement of the story, it is easy to learn of Hades’ plot to exert his dominance in a realm that does not belong to him. In fact, Ceres compares Pluto’s acts with theft and complaints before Jupiter of Pluto’s actions. In this case, Ovid compares rape to theft whereby Proserpine is stolen from her mother without her mother’s consent (Simmons-O’Neill, 398). Such theft alludes with three alleged victims brought forth by attorney Gloria Allred as they gave the alarming details of their alleged ordeals with the actor (Marquina). Likewise, this is the case in the several alleged rape encounters Cosby is implicated, where the victims feel like they have been robbed of their innate right and freedom to decide who to copulate with besides their bodies being used as a vessel for gratifying Cosby’s cravings. As a matter of fact, the term rape perfectly corresponds with this notion in terms of its original definition. The term rape emanates from the Latin word ‘raptus’ which literally means ‘to carry off by force’ (Lauriola, 33).
Innocence is undoubtedly one of the dominant themes that a person identifies with after reading the ‘The rape of Proserpine.’ This aspect is clearly depicted in quite a number of occasions besides people and the general setting of the tale. For instance, Ovid writes:
“Here Proserpine was playing in a glade and picking flowers, pansies, and lilies with a child’s delight.” (Melville & Kenney, 111)
In this case, Proserpine’s innocence exposes her to subjection and subsequently male dominance. Arguably, innocence and naivety form one of the basic perceptions that are cited as rape motivators and as such the reason why Proserpine is raped and...

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