Category Archives: Metamorphoses
The story of Ovid’s Metamorphoses revolves around the transformation of bodies into other bodies. This is shown by the following quote at the beginning of the story on pg 1138, lines 1-4: “My soul would sing of metamorphoses. But since, o gods, you were the source of these bodies becoming other bodies, breathe your breath into my book of changes.” Metamorphoses is considered the main theme of this story because many of these take place in this story. These transformations occur due to the transformed person and/or other people’s actions. The picture in the link above shows one of the several transformations that occur in which Daphne is turned into a tree. This transformation occurs in the Apollo and Daphne story in Book I. Daphne is turned into a tree because she asked her father for help because Apollo attempted to rape her. Daphne is turned into a tree by changing parts of her body into parts of the tree. This is shown by the following quote on pg 1141, lines 139-146: “As soon as she is finished with her prayer, a heavy numbness grips her limbs; thin bark begins to gird her tender frame, her hair is changed to leaves, her arms to boughs; her feet-so keen to race before-are now held fast by sluggish roots; the girl’s head vanishes, becoming a tree top. All that is left of Daphne is her radiance.”
My thought on this transformation of Daphne into a tree is kind of bizarre in the real world but also cool because you are turned into a different body. The transformation Daphne went through may reflect on her personality as well as qualities. The leaves may represent a means of escape since Daphne fled from Apollo due to the fact that leaves sort of look like wings.