The inspiration of the ancients: Ceres and Proserpina from Ovid’s ‘Metamorphoses’. Infant observation meets the classics.

Miller, Lisa (2019) The inspiration of the ancients: Ceres and Proserpina from Ovid’s ‘Metamorphoses’. Infant observation meets the classics. Infant Observation: International Journal of Infant Observation and Its Applications . ISSN 1369-8036 (Print), 1745-8943 (Online)

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Abstract

This paper makes a link between classical literature and psychoanalysis by way of a parallel in Ovid’s Metamorphoses and Infant Observation. The writer uses Ted Hughes’s translation of the tale of Ceres and Proserpina to link the myth of the seasons’ renewal with the psychoanalytic development of the baby seen in psychoanalytic terms. The story told by Hughes is seen as an illuminating version of the infant’s farewell to life at the breast, the dawning of anal and genital stirrings and the dramatic appearance of the Oedipal configuration. Pluto ravishes Proserpina away to Hades and she has to be half yielded up by her mother Ceres; while in the end both darkness and light, grief and happiness, winter and summer are seen as a complementary part of the human condition just as after the surmounting of weaning comes the advent of depressive feelings.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Classical Literature, Ceres And Proserpina, Ted Hughes, Tales From Ovid, The Myth Of The Seasons, Infant Observation
Subjects: Children, Young People and Developmental Pyschology > Child Care
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services
URI: http://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/2134

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