The Significant Nature of Metamorphosis

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Intriguingly, the concept of metamorphosis appeals to "a marked change in appearance, character, condition or function  (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition). This concept is captured in the texts of Moschus' Europa, Homeric Hymn to Demeter, and Works and Days. Metamorphosis plays an essential role in these myths, as it is the climax of each story. In accordance, the development of plot and outcome of these stories is entirely dependant upon metamorphosis; the significance and level of meaning it empowers. All texts are unique in their interpretation of metamorphosis, however sorrow and suffering as a result of metamorphosis is recognized throughout these myths, typically in an etiological fashion.

Firstly, Hesiod's Works and Days is clear at portraying metamorphosis as the climax in Why Life is Hard. In turn, this climax signifies sorrow and suffering in an etiological nature. The plot is observed to thicken when Prometheus tricks Zeus and steals fire to give to mankind. As a result, Zeus is outraged and decides; "I'm going to give them evil in exchange for fire  (Works and Days, l. 75). The introduction of evil into the world has an incredible impact on human existence. Life, the earth, and everything held within it are unanimously affected, and will never be the same again. Specifically, this is the point at which metamorphosis occurs. Metamorphosis, in context with Why Life is Hard is symbolic of evil. Likewise, evil can be conveyed as wrath, violence, war, hate and ultimately suffering. If the world knew of no evil, everyone would be living an easy life in peace, and conflict free, " ¦before that the human race/ Had lived off the land without any trouble, no hard work,/ No sickness or pain that the Fates give to men  (Works and Days, l. 111-13). Moreover, Zeus presented evil to the

world in the form of a woman; Pandora. Pandora's curiosity overcame her as she

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