The Metamorphoses

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"flavaque de viridi stillabant ilice mella." [1]
Ovid, The Metamorphoses, Bk.I:112

The Metamorphoses, completed in 8 AD, is a Narrative Poem by the Roman poet Publius Ovidius Naso, better known today as Ovid. The fifteen books of the poem consist of many stories from Greek and Roman mythology.

These stories range from the origin of the world from Chaos to the deification of Caesar and the celebration of Augustus's rule over Rome. Countless tales from mythology are told in between, including the stories of "Apollo and Daphne," "Orpheus and Eurydice," "Baucis and Philemon," "Daedalus and Icarus," et cetera.

The Metamorphoses has served as an enormous influence throughout the ages; today, it remains one of the best classical sources for many myths. Shakespeare, notably, borrowed from or was inspired by various stories in the collection. Romeo and Juliet parallels many aspects of "Pyramus and Thisbe", a myth which also appears as a play within a play in A Midsummer Nights Dream. In Act V of The Tempest, one of Prospero's speeches is strikingly similar to a speech Medea makes in Book VII of The Metamorphoses. Additionally, Titus Andronicus bears various similarities to the story of Philomena, and Lavinia actually points out the passage to tell her father and uncle what had happened to her.

Ovid's Metamorphoses is available online here... (What, can't read the Latin? Kids these days... A.S.Kline's English translation is available here.)

Not to be confused with Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis.

Tropes used in The Metamorphoses include:
  1. (And golden honey was dripping from a green oak tree.)