Greek Mythology: Metamorphosis
Metamorphosis is a key element in Greek mythology. This ability to change
shape or form is a major development in the stories of Arachne, Zeus, and Daphne.
Almost all of the gods had the power of metamorphosis.
The first story was the one of Arachne. Arachne was a mortal, who was a
great weaver. She was the best of all the mortals. She even thought she was as
good as one of the gods. Nobody was as good as the gods at anything. She
thought she was as good as the god Athene. Athene was the god of arts. When
Athene heard Arachne say she was better than her, Athene challenged Arachne to a
contest. The winner would chose the losers punishment. Arachne accepted and
went first in the competition. Hers was very beautiful, but she was no match
for Athene. Athene was weaving about things that happened to the gods. While
the crowd watched Athene, Arachne new that she had lost, so she went and hung
herself. She soon shriveled up and had eight legs. That is how the Greeks
explained the way spiders came to be.
Another example of metamorphosis is Zeus. Zeus was the king of all gods.
He had probably the most changes in Greek mythology. He was always changing to
get a girl to marry him. The most important change was when he got his first
wife Hera. Zeus had ask Hera to marry him every year for three hundred years.
One stormy night Zeus changed into a pigeon, and flew onto a window seal near
Hera. She let what she thought was a helpless little pigeon in through the
window. She did not know it was Zeus at the time. Hera petted the bird and
told it she loved it. At that time Zeus changed into himself and Hera had to
marry him. That made her the queen of all gods. The Greeks believed in having
many wives. And the sneaky god Zeus was he had over one hundred wives, none of
them where as important as Hera.
Daphne was another example of metamorphosis. Daphne was not one of the
gods of the Pantheon. One of the gods from the Pantheon loved her, his name was
Apollo. Apollo liked chasing Daphne. Daphne did not like to run, so one day
she cried out "please turn me into a tree". Her wish was granted. She was
turned into what we know today as the laurel tree. The Greek people where
laurel reefs as head ornaments even today. This myth had something to do with
the naming of our town Daphne.
There are a hole lot more myths that involve metamorphosis. I think
Zeus made more changes in shape or form, than any other god. The gods could not
appear as themself infront of mortals. Their beauty would kill the mortals if
they saw a god. If somebody poor comes to your door and ask you for food you
should give it to them, because it might be a god in disguise.
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