Metamorphoses

Metamorphoses

by

Ovid

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Cadmus Character Analysis

Cadmus is Europa’s sister. His father sends him to search for Europa and tells him not to return until he finds her. Cadmus looks everywhere, and at last asks Phoebus where he should go. On Phoebus’s orders, Cadmus founds a new city by following a stray cow to where it stops. After killing a dragon in a nearby stream, he sows the dragon’s teeth in the soil, which sprout citizens for his new city. Cadmus goes on to produce a long legacy until he finally abandons his city with his wife Harmonia, feeling that he has only experienced hardship there. He and Harmonia are eventually transformed into serpents, fulfilling a curse that was placed on Cadmus when he stared too long at the dragon he killed.
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Cadmus Character Timeline in Metamorphoses

The timeline below shows where the character Cadmus appears in Metamorphoses. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 3: Cadmus
Gods and Humans Theme Icon
...to the opposite shore where he drops his bull’s disguise. Meanwhile, Agenor—Europa’s father—tells his son Cadmus to find Europa or else be exiled from his homeland. Cadmus searches everywhere and at... (full context)
Humanity vs. Nature  Theme Icon
Cadmus sends a group of companions to the river to collect libations for a sacrifice to... (full context)
Humanity vs. Nature  Theme Icon
Cadmus goes to look for his companions and finds the dragon lapping blood from their corpses... (full context)
Metamorphosis Theme Icon
A voice rings out, accusing Cadmus of staring at the dead dragon. It says that he will suffer the same fate.... (full context)
Book 3: Actaeon
Metamorphosis Theme Icon
Cadmus marries and fathers many children who then bear him grandchildren. His legacy is mostly happy,... (full context)
Book 3: Pentheus and Bacchus (1)
Gods and Humans Theme Icon
...bravely in wars and traversed the world to found the new city of Thebes under Cadmus can now be so overcome by madness. Pentheus believes that, since these people were born... (full context)
Gods and Humans Theme Icon
Cadmus tries to reason with Pentheus, but Pentheus ignores him. Pentheus’s enslaved men return. They didn’t... (full context)
Book 4: Cadmus and Harmonia
Metamorphosis Theme Icon
Humanity vs. Nature  Theme Icon
After witnessing many griefs and failures, Cadmus decides to abandon the city of Thebes that he had founded. While he and his... (full context)
Book 4: Perseus (1)
Gods and Humans Theme Icon
After Cadmus and Harmonia become serpents, India and Greece join Bacchus’s cult. However, Bacchus is forbidden to... (full context)