Students will read in Latin selected stories from the METAMORPHOSES, Ovid's great un-epic epic, in which he recounts myths of shape-changers from the creation of the world down to his own time and that of the emperor Augustus. Ovid's stories inspire humor, pathos, and horror and may be grotesque or sentimental, sometimes both at the same time. They deal with issues such as divinity, power, love, rape, order, and identity, all in classic versions of famous myths influential throughout the centuries, told with the poet's distinctive wit and sense of incongruity. The class will focus on close reading of the Latin text and on Ovid's treatment of the myths and the distinctive approach he brings to the ever-shifting world he describes. The course will include an introduction to Latin meter, and class discussion will address modern critical approaches to Ovid.