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Ovid's Metamorphoses Fanlisting





The Metamorphoses, by the Roman poet Publius Ovidius Naso (Ovid), is a narrative poem in fifteen books that describes the history of the world from creation to the deification of Julius Caesar within a loose mythico-historical framework. Completed in AD 8, it is recognized as a masterpiece of Golden Age Latin literature. The most read of all classical works during the Middle Ages, the Metamorphoses continues to exert a profound influence on Western culture. It also remains the favourite work of reference for Greek myth upon which Ovid based these tales, albeit often with stylistic adaptations. (Extracted from Wikipedia)

Influence in the Arts

The influence of Ovid's Metamorphoses in the Arts are countless. Here are some examples.


The story of Coronis and Phoebus Apollo was adapted by Geoffrey Chaucer in the Canterbury Tales, where it forms the basis for the Manciple's tale.

Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is influenced by the story of Pyramus and Thisbe, and in A Midsummer Night's Dream, a band of amateur actors performs a play about Pyramus and Thisbe. In Titus Andronicus, the story of Lavinia's rape is drawn from Tereus' rape of Philomela, and the text of Metamorphoses is used within the play to enable Titus to interpret his daughter's story

In 1613, Spanish poet Luis de Góngora wrote an illustrious poem titled La fábula de Polifemo y Galatea that retells the story of Polyphemus, Galatea and Acis.

In 1988, author Christoph Ransmayr reworked a great number of characters from the Metamorphoses in his The Last World (Die letze Welt).

In 1997, the British poet laureate Ted Hughes adapted twenty-four stories from the Metamorphoses into his volume of poetry Tales from Ovid. This was later adapted for the stage in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1999, the year after Hughes's death.

Gregor Samsa, the main character from Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis (1912) is loosely based on the character from Ovid's Metamorphoses Erysichthon.


Visual Arts

Procris Hercules Iolaus Apollo Daphne Europa Euro Heracles Hércules

More art

Music and Dance

More information

If you can read Portuguese, you may find a lot of interesting data about Ovid's Metamorphoses in the corresponding article in the Portuguese Wikipedia.