Galatea never does quite like Pygmalion: relation to her is too godlike to be altogether agreeable

The quote you’ve provided refers to the myth of Pygmalion and Galatea, a narrative from Greek mythology.

This story is most notably recounted in Ovid’s “Metamorphoses.”

In the myth, Pygmalion is a sculptor who creates a statue of a woman named Galatea. The statue is so exquisitely beautiful that Pygmalion falls in love with it. He prays to the goddess Venus (Aphrodite) during a festival, asking for a woman who resembles his ivory creation. Venus is moved by his devotion and brings the statue to life. Pygmalion and Galatea then become husband and wife.

The quote you’ve provided, however, suggests a different interpretation or perspective on the myth. It implies that Galatea, once brought to life by Pygmalion’s wish, may not necessarily reciprocate his feelings in the same way he desires. The statement “Galatea never does quite like Pygmalion” suggests a disconnect or lack of mutual affection. The reason given is that the relation to Pygmalion is “too godlike to be altogether agreeable.”

This may be interpreted in a few ways:

  1. Divine Disparity: The phrase “too godlike” could imply that Galatea, as a creation brought to life by a divine intervention, may feel a disparity or distance between herself and Pygmalion, who is mortal. The godlike quality of her existence might create a sense of separation that makes the relationship challenging.
  2. Unattainable Ideal: Pygmalion’s idealized image of Galatea, captured in the statue, may be so perfect that the living Galatea cannot live up to this ideal. The godlike quality of the original creation might set an impossibly high standard that affects their relationship.
  3. Lack of Autonomy: Galatea, having been brought to life as a result of Pygmalion’s desires, might lack a sense of personal agency or autonomy in her feelings. The quote suggests that her relationship with Pygmalion is predetermined by his wishes rather than being a natural, mutual connection.

In literature and art, the Pygmalion and Galatea myth has been interpreted in various ways, exploring themes of love, desire, artistic creation, and the complexities of relationships. This particular quote provides a nuanced perspective that highlights the potential challenges and nuances in the relationship between the creator and the created.

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