The Metamorphoses by Ovid is a brilliant collection of the stories that depicts the ways of how the world was developed. The world of mythology would be incomplete without Ovid’s Metamorphoses because each its part represents a unique story with a certain lesson for any person to take into consideration. “The Story of Phaethon” is the first story in the second book of the Metamorphoses.
Its main character is Phoebus and Clymene’s son, who gets an opportunity to get anything he may dream about. Phaeton’s demand was really serious and even beyond his father’s powers; he wanted to control the chariot with winged horses for one day. Ovid’s attempt to describe the relations between parents and children and the ways of how parents can follow their promises was successful. His Metamorphoses show how light-mindedness of young people may influence the current state of affairs and the lives of many people. The character of Phaeton represents a perfect collection of different elements like false confidence in personal powers and inability to listen to parents words that are inherent to many young people; Phaeton’s complexities and desire to have more power and abilities lead to a tragic end according to which not only Phaeton loses his life and hope but the other members of his family undergo suffering. The relations between parents and children are considered to be a very important issue in our life.
Very often, children face challenges when they fail to comprehend the attempts of their parents. Almost the same picture is described in Ovid’s Story of Phaethon, when a son wants to use his father’s position and prove the rest his power. The father comprehends at once that such power is beyond son’s experience, years, and strengths; but the son is blind in his desires and does not want to hear any pieces of advice. His mother’s words that he has many powers from his birth encourage the boy and nothing can stop him. This is what makes him who he is actually in the poem, a spoiled boy, who gets an access to power due to his birth, but does not get any lesson on how to use this power. The peculiar feature of this character is the possibility to compare our modern situation, when children get their heritage but fail to use it properly.
Their failure to use their heritage is the failure of their parents that leads to disappointments, disasters, and deaths. Phaeton as a character demonstrates that his complexities are caused by his mistakes and his constant demands. It is not that important to have much power and use it over people; it is more significant to have solid background knowledge to use it for better and to help the others.
The mistake of Phaeton is evident: he is not ready to control the chariot of his father. He burns the Earth, causes numerous discontents of other Gods, and dies. However, the author does not want to end this story by a death only. The Phaeton’s action has considerable outcomes, and his family is also responsible for such stupid attitude to duties. Phaeton’s father, mother, and sisters suffer in their own ways because they realize that their guilt is also present here. In general, the character of Phaeton shows the reader that a family and inherent to family relations, duties, and heritage have unbelievable power.
Everyone should appreciate this gift to have a family and respect the roots, memories, and maturity. The major complexity of Phaeton is his inability to control his own demands, to use his position properly, and to consider the hints of his family. So the reader has a good chance to learn on the Phaeton’s mistakes and improve this life using the existed power in accordance with personal age and strengths.