King Pandion, "embracing Tereus
,/ commits his daughter to the Thracian's care," just as Mr.
On the wings of Aristophanes' imagination, humans and gods acquire wings, birds speak like humans, and hybrid beings like Tereus
and Prokne, already magically transformed from people to birds by mythology, confirm that the boundaries of reality have been blurred.
Critics have traditionally focused upon two antecedents of the play's cannibalism: Seneca's play of Atreus and Thyestes, and Ovid's narrative of Tereus
, Procne, and Philomela.
Kathryn McKinley also shows how Ovid emboldened another medieval poet, John Gower, in his Confessio Amantis, this time to attempt a moral transformation in his royal reader, Richard II, by using Ovid's tales of Tereus
and Philomela and Jason and Medea to warn against perfidy.
247) whose cruel treatment at the hands of Tereus
is recounted in Ovid's Metamorphoses.
1: Hermione, Polyxene, the Diners, Tereus
, Troilus, Phaedra.
Immediately after Cleitophon's appeal to Zeus (5,3,3), they see a picture showing the myth of Tereus
, Philomela, and Procne.
When Procne asks for Philomela, Tereus
claims she is dead.
and Philomela are for him as real as Tarquin and Lucrece, Aeneas and Priam as real as Virginius.
In the tale of Tereus
and Philomela monstrous sexual cruelty is partially redeemed as both torturer and tortured turn into birds.
Caxton's version points to what might actually be more interesting about the story -- `Of proygne and phylomene susters how they were dysceyued by Tereus
And of theyr transformacyon in to byrdes' (sig.
This reworking of the myth is made possible by Ovid, for whom Tereus
and Philomela are also figures of the Roman writer subjected to Hellenistic influence.