Metamorphoses

Metamorphoses

by

Ovid

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Iphis Character Analysis

Iphis is a baby who is born a girl but raised as a boy. When Iphis’s mother was pregnant with her, her father had threatened to kill the baby if it was a girl. With the help of a goddess, Iphis’s mother conceals Iphis’s gender and raises her as a boy. When Iphis falls in love with a girl and becomes engaged to her, she frets because she knows she won’t be able to be a true husband to her lover. Iphis’s mother, also distressed, again calls on Isis for help. Isis transforms Iphis into a boy, and Iphis marries his lover.
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Iphis Character Timeline in Metamorphoses

The timeline below shows where the character Iphis appears in Metamorphoses. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 9: Iphis
Metamorphosis Theme Icon
...conceals the baby’s gender from everyone, including her husband. The man names his supposed son Iphis, and the baby is raised as a boy. (full context)
Love and Destruction Theme Icon
Thirteen years later, Iphis’s father arranges for Iphis to marry a girl named Ianthe. Ianthe looks forward happily to... (full context)
Metamorphosis Theme Icon
Love and Destruction Theme Icon
Iphis’s mother is as distraught as Iphis. She delays the wedding as long as she can,... (full context)
Book 10: Orpheus and Eurydice
Love and Destruction Theme Icon
Shortly after Iphis marries Ianthe, another marriage takes place in Thrace. Hymen, the god of marriage, attends, but... (full context)