Theme Of Transformation In Ovid's Metamorphoses

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It was not uncommon in Ancient Greek and Roman myths for gods to transform humans into animals or objects, or to alter parts of their mortal bodies in some way shape or form. It’s easy to think that end result of these transfigurations was always hurtful or that they were only used as a type of punishment, because who would want to be turned into a flower? However, Ovid demonstrates that these transformations did not always have the detrimental outcome you think they would; he tells stories where transformation can be both a beneficial and a harmful incident. In Metamorphoses, Ovid relates myths in which transformation is used to both take away the identity of an individual and to restore it in order to portray transformation in both a positive and negative light.…show more content…
After sculpting “an image of perfect feminine beauty,” (10.248-249) and falling in love with his own sculpture, he pleads with Venus to turn his creation into a real woman, and she obliges (10.273-287). While Pygmalion is the main character of the story, it is the statue who is given an identity. She goes from a doll that can not respond to Pygmalion’s advances and just lies still while he showers her with affection, to a breathing woman with a pulse who “timidly raised her eyes to the light and saw her lover / against the sky,” (10.294-295). She is able to now assume the identity of a human and wife. She is also gives birth to a daughter (10.297), providing her with another aspect of identity; she is a mother. In this story, transformation is not a punishment, but rather a means to make a man incredibly happy and to give life and purpose to an inanimate object that would otherwise have no identity at

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