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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.
Ace your assignments with our guide to Metamorphoses!