OVID’s
METAMORPHOSES
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Among Ovid’s greatest works is Metamorphoses, a long poem focused on a number of changes and progressions. Encyclopaedia Britannica says, “The importance of metamorphosis is more apparent than real, however; the essential theme of the poem is passion (pathos), and this gives it more unity than all the ingenious linking and framing devices the poet uses”. This is a matter which is open to debate, however. As with any great literature, interpretations vary. Metamorphoses is a complex work covering many themes and employing a number of subtle devices which leave it open to a great deal of interpretation. The metamorphoses described in the poem are indeed important, as they describe an entire mythology built on change. Nothing is ever static in this mythology; from the first page to the last, anything can—and does—change.
The major theme of the story is of course metamorphosis, or change. Change is the central theme throughout all fifteen books and the Gods are constantly changing their own selves and shapes, as well as that of humans.