I. Sinister, otherworldly
III. Tentative, gritty
Arachne captures Ovid’s story of the master weaver, poisoned by the Gods. Ovid’s brilliant transformations move quickly and effortlessly, showing a kind of malleable quality to nature’s creations. Everything seems one breath away from an effortless and perhaps permanent change.
“I only speak the truth and if Athena thinks otherwise then let her come down and
challenge me herself,” Arachne replied. Athena removed her disguise and appeared in
shimmering glory. The two began weaving straight away. When Athena saw that Arachne had not only insulted the gods, but done so with a work far more beautiful, she was enraged, and doused her with Hecate’s potion.”
“…as soon as the poison had touched Arachne, her hair fell away, and so did her ears and nose. The head now changed to a tiny ball and her whole frame shrunk in proportion. Instead of her legs, spindly fingers attached to her sides. The rest is merely abdomen, from which she continues to spin her thread and practice her art in the web of a spider.”
– Ovid, Metamorphoses. Trans. David Raeburn