Metamorphoses

Love and Transformation in Metamorphoses College

The tile of Ovid’s poem Metamorphoses literally translates to mean “transformation.” The compendium is actually itself a transformational work, merging a multitude of Greek and Roman historical traditions into one massive epic poem. There are many different types of transformations that occur for different reasons throughout the poem: people and gods change into plants and animals, love into hate, chaos into being. Love is the catalyst that creates these changes in the stories that comprise the Metamorphoses. This love is portrayed as a turbulent force that possesses the power to create both positive and negative change. Those affected by this force are wholly in its power, to the exclusion of reason and often morality. Transformations in the Metamorphoses flow from the pursuit of or effects rendered by love. As noted, this love does not always have a positive result; in fact, often the case is quite the opposite. Five main sub-categorical causes stem from love-provoked transformations: sexual encounters, escape, sorrow, punishment, and romantic love.

Sexual encounters are various and common within the stories of the Metamorphoses. The two types of encounters that recur are those of rape and relationships resulting in...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 741 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 4428 literature essays, 1449 sample college application essays, 183 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in