Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Metamorphoses can help.

Metamorphoses: Book 1: Io (2) Summary & Analysis

When Mercury is halfway through the story of Pan and Syrinx, Argus falls asleep. Mercury cuts off his head, splattering the rocks with blood. Furious, Queen Juno sends a demon to terrify Io. Io wanders the world, trying to escape her invisible enemy. At last, she sinks to her knees on the bank of the Nile, groaning and lowing. Hearing her, Jupiter embraces the Queen and promises that he'll never pursue Io again if only she will stop punishing Io. The Queen is persuaded, and Io slowly regains her human form and voice. She is worshipped today as a goddess.
The suffering that Jupiter and Juno each cause in the human world only ceases when they resolve their conflict with each other. This shows how dependent the world is on the gods’ often fluctuating emotions. Also, Io is one of the few characters in the Metamorphoses who regains her human form and voice after having been transformed, suggesting that the resolution that Jupiter and Juno achieve is rare in their relationship.
Metamorphosis Theme Icon
Love and Destruction Theme Icon
Gods and Humans Theme Icon