Metamorphoses

by: Ovid

Juno

Simply because she is Jupiter’s wife, Juno is a key figure in the Metamorphoses. Unlike Jupiter, however, she does not make world-changing decisions or seek out extramarital relationships. Her less powerful role means that she does not drive the plot, as Jupiter does. Still, the brutal punishments she metes out are what give the poem much of its spice. She constantly catches her husband sleeping with other women. His exploits enrage her, and she vents her wrath on Jupiter’s lovers, revenging herself on Io, Callisto, Europa, and Semele, among others. She also torments the offspring, such as Ino, that these women have by Jupiter. Even those who impede Juno’s efforts to catch Jupiter, such as Echo, feel her wrath. Juno never takes revenge in a foolhardy or thoughtless way. She is always cunning and calculating. She may not be as powerful as her husband is, but Juno is an intelligent, fearsome goddess.