Classical Quarterly 47 (02):605- (1997)

It is a characteristic of Ovid's Heroides for each epistle implicitly to establish the dramatic time, context and motive for its composition by the particular heroine to whom it is attributed. In this way the poet is able to exploit the tension between the heroine's inevitably circumscribed awareness of the development of her story and the superior information which can be deployed by a reader acquainted with the mythical tradition or master-text which dictates what is actually going to follow: Penelope hands over a letter to a man whom the reader familiar with Homer can identify as Ulysses even if she cannot, Ariadne wonders whether Naxos is infested with tigers at a moment shortly before Dionysus and his tiger-driven chariot will arrive
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DOI 10.1093/cq/47.2.605
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