A long, long time
ago, there was a
Ovid. He had a
love and talent
for poetry. His
because it was a
stories with no
main plot or
Inspired by Greek
stories told in
random, but they
all share one
• Tiresias came upon snakes mating in the woods. He poked them with
a stick to get them to stop. This action angered the Goddess Hera, so
she turned Tiresias into a woman. When she(he) came across the
snakes again, she(he) let them be and was turned back into a man.
• Sometime later, Hera and Zeus get into an argument over who gets
more pleasure out of sex: men or women. To settle the argument,
they decide to ask Tiresias, because he had experienced life as both
sexes. Tiresias reveals that women get more pleasure than men from
sex. This angers Hera, for she had Zeus convinced that the men
gained more pleasure from the experience. In her anger Hera strikes
Tiresias blind. Feeling bad about what had happened, Zeus gives
Tiresias the gift of second sight.
Narcissus & Echo
• Echo is a wood nymph who was cursed by Juno with the ability to
only repeat what is spoken to her. She was in love with a man named
Narcissus, and watched him in the woods every day.
• Narcissus is an arrogant, self-centered man. He is very handsome and
felt that no one was worthy of his love.
• While in the woods one day, Narcissus hears footsteps. He
calls out to whoever it is to reveal themselves and come join
him. Suddenly out of the woods Echo comes flying and
jumps onto Narcissus. She is so happy that he asked her to
join him. But Narcissus flings her off of him and declares that
he would rather die than be with Echo.
• Echo runs away, embarrassed, and eventually dies of grief.
Her body becomes one with the mountains, and only her
• Angered by the behavior of Narcissus, the gods decide to
curse him to love someone who could never love him back.
• One day later Narcissus comes across a pool of water. He looks into it
and mistakes his reflection for a water nymph. He leans in to kiss the
nymph, but when he touches the water the image fades. Narcissus
emerges from the water confused as to why the nymph will not love
him. He dies from grief, sitting by the pool of water, waiting to be
loved by someone who is not real.
• Arachne was a gifted weaver. Her skills were admired by all.
Observers would comment that she was so good, she must have been
trained by Athena herself. This made Arachne scoff. She declared that
not even Athena could weave better than her.
• Athena got word of this declaration and decided to pay Arachne a
visit, disguised as an old woman. Athena walked up to Arachne and
warned her not insult the gods. Arachne laughed and boldly stated
that she welcomed a challenge from the goddess Athena and would
accept any punishment given to her.
• Upon hearing this, Athena revealed herself. Arachne stood her
ground. Both weave such beautiful pieces that it is unclear who is
• Athena was jealous and furious. She destroyed Arachne’s creation
and made her feel full guilt for her actions.
• The guilt was too much for Arachne to handle, and she later hung
• Athena, feeling bad for what she had caused, brought Arachne back
to life as a spider, so that she and her descendants could be talented
Daedalus & Icarus
• Daedalus and his son, Icarus, served under King Minos. One day the
king asked Daedalus to build a Labyrinth so that he could imprison
the Minotaur. King Minos would pick tributes to sacrifice to the
• One day the King of Athens, Theseus, came to King Minos and told
him he would like to volunteer to be sacrificed. He had intentions of
slaying the Minotaur. The king’s daughter, Ariadne, fell in love with
Theseus and begged Daedalus to show him how to get through the
Labyrinth. Daedalus agreed and showed Theseus the way. The King of
Athens slayed the Minotaur.
• King Minos found out what Daedalus had done and imprisoned him
and Icarus in the Labyrinth.
• To escape, Daedalus made wings out of feathers and wax for him and
his son. They would fly away. Daedalus warned Icarus not to fly too
close to the sun, for it would melt the wax in his wings. But Icarus was
overcome with the joy of flying, and flew high in the sky, close to the
sun. His wings melted, and he fell to the sea, dead. Daedalus lived
and made it to Sicily. Icarus’s body washed up, and he was properly
Orpheus & Eurydice
• Orpheus was a talented and famous musician. He met Eurydice, and
they fell in love and got married. The God of Marriage, Hymen,
attends their wedding, but offers no words of encouragement and
doesn’t speak at all.
• After the wedding, Eurydice decides to take a walk in the woods. The
shepherd Aristaeus appears and chases after Eurydice in lust. Not
paying attention to where she is running, Eurydice stumbles upon a
viper. It bites her and she dies.
• Overcome with grief over the loss of his wife, Orpheus decides to go
to the Underworld and get Eurydice back.
• He uses his music to charm the creatures and souls in the Underworld
so that he can find Hades and Persephone. When he finds them, he
gives a speech and begs them to release Eurydice. Hades and
Persephone agree, but there is a catch. Eurydice must walk behind
Orpheus out of the Underworld, and Orpheus is not allowed to turn
and look at Eurydice until they have both existed back into the mortal
• Orpheus and Eurydice begin their walk out of the Underworld.
Orpheus is so overcome with passion and happiness that as soon as
he exits the Underworld he turns to Eurydice. But she hasn’t fully
exited the Underworld, and so she is immediately sucked back in.
•All of these stories share a common theme:
metamorphosis. Whether it be physical, mental, or
spiritual, all the characters transform and grow. They
all learn something. When you look at the
metamorphosis of the heroes in the stories, you can
see that Ovid’s epic poem, Metamorphoses, isn’t
random at all. It is a poem that represents the
changes that anyone can go through, the changes that
the world and humans have gone through since the
beginning of time. It represents development and
growth and understanding.
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