Date of Award

9-1-2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

Abstract

Ovid's Metamorphoses contains a world full of supernatural beings, violent confrontations, and scandalous relationships. Many myths contain stories of sexual pursuits, which often involve a god lusting after a young virgin. Those tales establish the fragility of virginity within the poem, especially when a female is a beautiful huntress. According to those factors, Diana, the virgin goddess of the hunt, should be unable to maintain her virginity. However, she defies convention and keeps her virginity, despite the many factors within her life that align her with the sexual pursued females. Because of that, Diana stands out among gods and mortals alike as a superior being whose life does not follow the standard rules of her world. In a similar manner, the Cullen family from Stephenie Meyer's Twilight maintains their own brand of virginity by choosing to drink animal blood instead of human blood. They defy the conventions of their species and live as a part of human society. Although the Cullens possess a different type of virginity than Diana, there are striking similarities between the vampires and the goddess. Through their virgin connection, the two texts demonstrate the universality of the conception of virginity and the complexity that can come with it.

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