This work explores how the 20th century English poet Ted Hughes translates one episode from Ovid's Metamorphoses (the "Pyramus and Thisbe" myth included in Hughes's Tales from Ovid) to make it an emblem for his notions about translation. In translating "Pyramus and Thisbe," Hughes removed many of the formal Ovidian elements and amplified the themes of violence and mingling latent in the myth. In doing so, he highlights the concept that communication sometimes necessitates breaking, symbolized primarily by the chink in the wall through which Pyramus and Thisbe whisper to one another. This metaphor for translation corroborates Hughes's discursive assertions that he favors literalness when translating, and yet contradicts the markedly Hughesian poems his translation work produces.
College and Department
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Carter, Carolyn, ""Sealing Their Two Fates with a Fracture": Ted Hughes's "Pyramus and Thisbe" as an Emblem of the Paradox of Translation" (2013). Theses and Dissertations. 3423.
Ted Hughes, Ovid, Metamorphoses, translation