Metamorphoses

Metamorphoses

by

Ovid

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Meleager Character Analysis

Meleager is a soldier who leads the charge to kill a ferocious bull that Diana sets loose in Calydon, angry that no one there is worshipping her. Meleager kills the boar, and then angers his fellow soldiers by giving half the credit to a female soldier whom he desires. This upset leads to a duel in which Meleager kills two of his uncles. His mother Althaea, after an internal battle, decides to avenge her brothers and kill her son. Althaea kills him by throwing the fragment of wood on the fire. (Meleager had been cursed as a baby to only live as long as the piece of wood.) Meleager burns to death, and many Calydonians mourn.
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Meleager Character Timeline in Metamorphoses

The timeline below shows where the character Meleager appears in Metamorphoses. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 8: Meleager and the Calydonian Boar
Love and Destruction Theme Icon
Meleager, a young soldier, gathers a group of fighters to kill the bull. Among this group... (full context)
Love and Destruction Theme Icon
...boar. Theseus misses every time he tries to strike the boar. At last, one of Meleager’s spears hits the boar’s back. The boar goes wild with fury and pain. Meleager advances... (full context)
Love and Destruction Theme Icon
Meleager’s mother Althaea is praising her son when she sees her brothers’ corpses. Hearing that Meleager... (full context)
Love and Destruction Theme Icon
...to avenge her brothers and tosses the fragment into the flames. Out in the city, Meleager feels a burning inside his body. He calls for his family and burns to death... (full context)
Love and Destruction Theme Icon
Calydon mourns Meleager’s death. Feeling guilty for killing her son, Althaea kills herself. Meleager’s sisters beat their breasts... (full context)