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MetamorphosisHow to Transform Punishment in America$
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Robert A. Ferguson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780300230833

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300230833.001.0001

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Accounting for Unaccountability

Accounting for Unaccountability

Chapter:
(p.46) 3 Accounting for Unaccountability
Source:
Metamorphosis
Author(s):

Robert A. Ferguson

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300230833.003.0004

This chapter discusses how much of what Western thought came to feel about the subject of punishment originates in Ovid's artistic treatment of the subject. Punishment, he realized, is more than itself. It provides satisfaction for the punisher and through misery designates a flawed identity for the punished. That synergy also explains why punishment invariably goes up whenever it is not watched closely. To appreciate Ovid's obsession with punishment in his epic poem Metamorphoses, the chapter starts with the precise philosophical problem that drives it. His concern is with the misfortune that comes from punishment as opposed to mere misfortune, a serious distinction.

Keywords:   Ovid, Metamorphoses, punishment, Western thought, misfortune, punisher, punished

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