Metamorphoses

Metamorphoses

by

Ovid

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Io Character Analysis

Io is the daughter of a river nymph. Jupiter falls in love with her, and one day overtakes her in the woods and rapes her. Jupiter transforms Io into a white cow so that she can escape Juno, who has discovered his infidelity. Suspecting that the cow is Io, Juno convinces Jupiter to give her the cow. While Io is in Juno’s custody, she writes her name in the dust with her hoof to let her father know who she is. Juno continues to torture Io until Jupiter begs her to stop, promising not to pursue Io again. Juno consents and returns Io to her human form.

Io Quotes in Metamorphoses

The Metamorphoses quotes below are all either spoken by Io or refer to Io . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Metamorphosis Theme Icon
).
Book 1: Io (1) Quotes

If only words could have followed her tears, she’d have begged him for help;
she’d have told him her name and described her plight. Two letters were all
that could serve for words, two letters traced by a hoof in the dust,
which revealed her name and the sorry tale of her transformation.

Related Characters: Io
Related Symbols: Speech, Words, and Writing
Page Number: 647
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Metamorphoses LitChart as a printable PDF.
Metamorphoses PDF

Io Character Timeline in Metamorphoses

The timeline below shows where the character Io appears in Metamorphoses. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 1: Io (1)
Gods and Humans Theme Icon
...Daphne’s transformation into a tree, except Ínachus, who is too upset over his missing daughter Io to appear. This is what happened to Io: one day, Io leaves her father’s river... (full context)
Love and Destruction Theme Icon
Gods and Humans Theme Icon
...She goes to earth to find him, but before she can catch him, Jupiter transforms Io into a beautiful white cow. Queen Juno suspects that the cow is really Jupiter’s mistress,... (full context)
Metamorphosis Theme Icon
Time, Fate, and Poetry  Theme Icon
One day, Io wanders close to her father’s river. Her father feeds her grass and she licks his... (full context)
Metamorphosis Theme Icon
Love and Destruction Theme Icon
Gods and Humans Theme Icon
Jupiter is unable to bear Io’s distress. He calls for his son, Mercury, and orders him to kill Argus. Mercury grabs... (full context)
Book 1: Io (2)
Metamorphosis Theme Icon
Love and Destruction Theme Icon
Gods and Humans Theme Icon
...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... (full context)
Book 1: Phaëthon (1)
Gods and Humans Theme Icon
Io gives birth to Épaphus, who is rumored to be Jupiter’s son. When Épaphus starts school,... (full context)