Apollo and Daphne TW: Sexual Assault. / by Anthony Gibbins

I am reminded today of Apollo and Daphne, a terribly sad slice of Ovid’s Metamorphoses in which the skilled hunter Daphne is pursued by Apollo, caught up in his own selfish desires. It is scattered throughout with forms of the Verb fugio, fugere, fugi, fugitum to flee, as Daphne attempts to save herself. Whether or not she succeeds is determined by your own interpretation of the poem’s ending. I feel that, sadly, she does not.

Here are, I think, all uses of the Verb fugio in Daphne’s story. If you wish to read it for yourself, you will find that it also contains cognate words like the Noun fuga escape and the Adjective fugax avoiding. The lines are number. The complete story appears between lines 452 and 567 of Metamorphoses, Book I.

protinus alter amat, fugit altera nomen amantis                 474

One [Apollo] immediately desires, the other [Daphne] flees the name of her desirer.

                                                        fugit ocior aura

illa levi neque ad haec revocantis verba resistit:                  502-3

She flees faster than a light breeze, nor does she halt at the words of him calling her back.

sic aquilam penna fugiunt trepidante columbae,                  506

Thus the doves flee the eagle on nervous wings [literally: feathers].

                                                 nescis, temeraria, nescis,

quem fugias, ideoque fugis:                                                   514-5

This is Apollo speaking: You do not know, rash one, you do not know from whom you flee, and thus you flee.

plura locuturum timido Peneia cursu               

fugit cumque ipso verba inperfecta reliquit,                        525-6

Peneia [another name for Daphne] fled him on frightened leg just as he is about to say more, and leaves behind the unfished words along with him himself.

‘I am not able to do that,’ Jessica responded. ‘I ask you. Allow me to flee.’ Then Miranda heard a sound and turned herself to investigate.