What are the tragic consequences of changes in form in The Metamorphoses?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The consequences of change of form in the Metamorphoses are often very tragic indeed.

In the story of Daphne and Apollo, for example, we are presented with a transformation that ends in tragedy . A love-sick Apollo desperately wants Daphne; but as Daphne has sworn to remain a virgin, she...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

The consequences of change of form in the Metamorphoses are often very tragic indeed.

In the story of Daphne and Apollo, for example, we are presented with a transformation that ends in tragedy. A love-sick Apollo desperately wants Daphne; but as Daphne has sworn to remain a virgin, she rebuffs his increasingly assertive advances.

Unwilling to take no for an answer, Apollo chases Daphne until, eventually, he catches up with her and grabs her. On the brink of being violated by the god, Daphne calls out to her father, Peneus, to use his streams' divine powers to change her and destroy the beauty that pleases Apollo only too well.

Peneus duly obliges, and before long Daphne has turned into a laurel tree. (Daphne is the Greek word for laurel.) Although this prevents Apollo from assaulting Daphne, it also deprives Daphne of a full life. It is this deprivation of what was rightfully hers that makes the story of Daphne and Apollo truly tragic.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on