The ancient Mediterranean world was sustained by potent myths which retain the power to grip our imaginations and provoke the deepest thoughts about our nature and circumstances; Ovid was one ancient writer who was able to tell these stories with immense skill. Ted Hughes has presented two dozen of his tales in modern English, using language and images which clearly belong to the late 20th Century but nevertheless carry the reader away into ancient ways of seeing and feeling. In his introduction, he explains that "Above all, Ovid was interested in passion. Or rather, what a passion feels like to the one possessed by it. Not just ordinary passion either, but human passion in extremis - passion where it combusts, or levitates, or mutates into an experience of the supernatural."
... "However impossible these intensities might seem to be on one level, on another, apparently more significant level Ovid renders them with compelling psychological truth and force."
Ted Hughes deploys all his skill as a poet to convey this intensity to the modern reader.