Metamorphoses

Metamorphoses

by

Ovid

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Book 1: The Creation Quotes

Yet a holier living creature, more able to think high thoughts,
which could hold dominion over the rest, was still to be found.
So Man came into the world. […]
Thus clay, so lately no more than a crude and formless substance,
was metamorphosed to assume the strange new figure of Man.

Page Number: 75
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 1: The Four Ages Quotes

No pine tree had yet been felled from its home on the mountains and come down
into flowing waves for journeys to lands afar;
mortals were careful and never forsook the shores of their homeland.
No cities were yet ringed round with deep, precipitous earthworks; […]
swords were not carried nor helmets worn; no need for armies,
but nations were free to practice the gentle arts of peace.

Page Number: 94
Explanation and Analysis:
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:
Book 2: Callisto Quotes

To prevent her appealing for pity by prayers or words of entreaty
her powers of speech were wrested away, and her hoarse throat only
emitted an angry, menacing, terror-inspiring growl.
But though her body was now a bear’s, her emotions were human.
Continual groaning testified to her inner anguish.

Related Characters: Callisto
Page Number: 482
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 2: Europa Quotes

Love and regal dignity, scarcely the best of friends,
are rarely discovered together. And so the father and ruler
of all the gods, whose right hand wields the three-forked lightning,
whose nod can sway the whole world, discarded his mighty scepter
and clothed himself in the form of a bull.

Related Characters: Jupiter (Jove)
Page Number: 486
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 3: Pentheus and Bacchus (1) Quotes

Blood of the dragon’s teeth, you’re possessed! Are you so spellbound
by curling pipes of animal horn and clashing cymbals
to fall for this juggler’s tricks? You, who were never dismayed
by the threatening swords of the foe on the march or his blaring trumpets,
are now being worsted by screaming women, bibulous frenzy,
lewd and lecherous hordes and the futile banging of drums!
Elders, how can I respect you?

Related Characters: Pentheus (speaker), Bacchus
Page Number: 532
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 4: Pyramus and Thisbe Quotes

We both implore you to grant this prayer: as our hearts were truly
united in love, and death has at last united our bodies,
lay us to rest in a single tomb. Begrudge us not that!
And you, O tree, whose branches are already casting their shadows
on one poor body and soon will be overshadowing two,
preserve the marks of our death; let your fruit forever be dark
as a token of mourning, a monument marking the blood of two lovers.

Related Characters: Thisbe (speaker), Pyramus
Page Number: 155
Explanation and Analysis:
5.3 Quotes

please use words which accord
with the facts of the case. Lord Pluto hasn’t committed a crime
but an act of love. No need for us to feel shame at the marriage,
if only you will accept it, Ceres. Setting aside
all other advantages, Pluto is Jupiter’s brother, no less!

Related Characters: Jupiter (Jove) (speaker), Pluto , Ceres , Proserpina
Page Number: 124
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 6: Arachne Quotes

[Minerva] resented Arachne’s
success and ripped up the picture betraying the gods’ misdemeanors.
She was still holding her shuttle of […] boxwood
and used it to strike Arachne a number of times on the forehead.

Related Characters: Arachne , Minerva
Page Number: 130
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 6: Niobe Quotes

I am undeniably blessed; and blessed I’ll continue to be,
without any doubt. My abundance assures me I’ll always be safe.
I am far too important a person for fortune’s changes to harm me.
However much I am robbed, far more will be left to enjoy.
My blessings are such that I have nothing to fear.

Related Characters: Niobe (speaker), Latona
Page Number: 193
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 6: Tereus, Procne and Philomela Quotes

But once she saw that maternal claims were making her purpose
waver, she turned away from her child to the face of her sister,
then looking at each in turn, she reflected: ‘Should Itys be able
to say that he loves me, when poor Philomela has lost her tongue?
He can call out to his mother, but she cannot call out to her sister.’

Related Characters: Procne (speaker), Itys , Philomela , Tereus
Related Symbols: Speech, Words, and Writing
Page Number: 629
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 7: Minos and Aeacus Quotes

And yet no pleasure is ever unmingled; anxiety always
intrudes upon joy.

Page Number: 453
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 8: Scylla and Minos Quotes

God helps those
who help themselves, remember, and fortune favors the brave.
Another woman whose passion was blazing as strongly as mine
would now be already destroying whatever opposed her love—
and delight in destroying it. Why should another be braver than I?

Related Characters: Scylla (speaker), Minos
Page Number: 72
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 9: Miletus Quotes

Have you no respect for me? […]
Where will this end? Does anyone think they can really defy
the decrees of Fate? […]
You are all subject to Fate, and—if this makes your subjection
more easy to bear—so am I.

Related Characters: Jupiter (Jove) (speaker)
Page Number: 428
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 9: Byblis Quotes

I have committed a wrong which I cannot undo.
I’ve written my letter and asked for his love; my intention’s exposed.
If I venture no more, my reputation’s already tarnished;
there’s little to lose by further appeals, but much to be gained.

Related Characters: Byblis (speaker), Caunus
Related Symbols: Speech, Words, and Writing
Page Number: 626
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 10: Orpheus’ Song: Myrrha Quotes

I wonder, for daughterly duty
cannot condemn this love. All other creatures can mate
as they choose for themselves. It isn’t considered a scandal for bulls
to mount the heifers they’ve sired […] and even a bird
can conceive her chicks by a mate who happens to be her father.
How lucky they are to do as they please! How spitefully human
morality governs our lives!

Related Characters: Myrrha (speaker)
Page Number: 324
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 11: Aesacus Quotes

Then Aesacus furiously lowered
his head and plunged to the depths. He repeatedly tried to discover
a pathway to death and never stopped trying. His love made him thin,
and all of him lengthened out: his legs on their knotted joints,
his neck with the head so far from the body. He loves the sea,
and because he is constantly diving down it, we call him the diver.

Related Characters: Aesacus
Page Number: 791
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 12: The Death of Achilles Quotes

So Achilles who’d vanquished the mightiest heroes
was vanquished himself by a coward who’d stolen the wife of his Greek host.

Related Characters: Achilles
Page Number: 608
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 13: The Judgement of Arms Quotes

Your simple brawn must be measured
against my brains. In a ship the helmsman takes precedence over
the rower; in war the commander has more respect than the soldier;
so I must rank above you. In the make-up of human beings,
intelligence counts for more than our hands, and that is our true strength.

Related Characters: Ulysses (speaker), Ajax
Page Number: 365
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 14: The Mutinous Companions of Diomedes Quotes

What’s left to encounter that lies
beyond your endurance to bear? What further damage can Venus
inflict, supposing she wanted to? Prayers can avail, if worse
is yet to be feared; but when the worst has already occurred,
fear lies at our feet and the crown of misfortune is freedom from care.
No matter if Venus can hear my words; […]
we can treat her longing with scorn
to a man. Her power may be great, but it counts for little with us!

Related Characters: Venus
Page Number: 486
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 14: Ardea Quotes

The cries of sorrow,
the lean, pale faces and all that betokens a captured city
survived in that bird; yes, even the name, as the heron called ardea
beats her wings in her grief for the city from which she arose.

Page Number: 177
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 15: Pythagoras Quotes

The earth supplies nourishing food in lavish
abundance; she offers you feasts that demand no slaughter or bloodshed.
[…]
Here is the wondrous wealth which the earth, the kindest of mothers,
produces; and yet you are happy to bite cruel wounds in your victims,
chomping them up with your teeth in the grisly style of the cyclops.
You have no way of relieving the hunger-pangs of your greedy,
uncivilized bellies except by destroying the life of another.

Related Characters: Pythagoras (speaker), The Cyclops
Page Number: 81
Explanation and Analysis:

All is subject to change and nothing to death. The spirit
in each of us wanders from place to place; it enters whatever
body it pleases, crossing over from beast to man,
and back again to a beast. It never perishes wholly.
As pliable wax is easily stamped with a new impression
and never remains as it was nor preserves one single shape,
but still is the selfsame wax, so I say that our souls are always
the same, though they move from home to home in different bodies.

Related Characters: Pythagoras (speaker)
Page Number: 165
Explanation and Analysis:

I rejoice that the walls of my kinsmen
are rising so fast, that the Greeks won a war for the good of the Trojans.

Related Characters: Pythagoras (speaker)
Page Number: 451
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 15: The Apotheosis of Julius Caesar Quotes

You may go yourself [to] […] visit the Records of Fortune,
a massive structure of tablets inscribed in brass and the solidest
iron. These tablets fear no clashing of clouds, nor the thunderbolt’s
wrath, nor destruction, however it come; they are safe and abiding.
There you will find your families’ destinies cast in enduring
adamant.

Related Characters: Jupiter (Jove) (speaker), Venus , Julius Caesar
Page Number: 809
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 15: Epilogue Quotes

That day which has power over nothing except this body of mine
may come when it will and end the uncertain part of my life.
But the finer part of myself shall sweep me into eternity,
higher than all the stars. My name shall be never forgotten.
Wherever the might of Rome extends in the lands she has conquered,
the people shall read and recite my words.

Related Symbols: Speech, Words, and Writing
Page Number: 873
Explanation and Analysis:
No matches.