Can you paraphrase the line?
"The sixteenth‑ century translation of Ovid used by Shakespeare begins with the line ‘Of shapes transformed to bodies strange I purpose to entreat.’"
- PaoloLv 44 weeks agoFavorite Answer
The translation of a poetic text into another language is difficult and can lead to interpretation errors, because the poetic expressions are very often polysemic, i. e. have multiple meanings. The difficulty may be greater if the translator tries to use the poetic language in his work.
The begin of Ovide's Metamorphoses in Latin is:
In nova fert animus mutatas dicere formas corpora.
Ordered: animus fert dicere mutatas formas in nova corpora.
Literal translation: [My] soul leads [me] to sing the changed shapes into new bodies.
I understand the "incipit" of the text avaliable to Shakespeare as follows:
I aim to treat the shapes transformed into strange bodies.
As you can see, the adjective "new" is lost in translation and the soul, which pushes the poet to sing the whole work, is rephrased with "I purpose".
The sixteenth-century translation avaliable to Shakespeare renders the sense of the original, but omits some things, perhaps because the translator tried to use a poetic language in his work.
- Anonymous4 weeks ago
I intend to sincerely ask a favor of shapes changed into odd bodies