Metamorphoses

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Metamorphoses'

Metamorphoses Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    metamorphosis n
  1. the marked and rapid transformation of a larva into an adult that occurs in some animals [syn: metabolism]
  2. a striking change in appearance or character or circumstances; "the metamorphosis of the old house into something new and exciting" [syn: transfiguration]
  3. a complete change of physical form or substance especially as by magic or witchcraft [also: metamorphoses (pl)]
Metamorphoses Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    metamorphoses See metamorphosis
Metamorphoses Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Metamorphosis \Met`a*mor"pho*sis\, n.; pl. Metamorphoses. [L., fr. Gr. ?, fr. ? to be transformed; ? beyond, over + ? form.]
  1. Change of form, or structure; transformation.
  2. (Biol.) A change in the form or function of a living organism, by a natural process of growth or development; as, the metamorphosis of the yolk into the embryo, of a tadpole into a frog, or of a bud into a blossom. Especially, that form of sexual reproduction in which an embryo undergoes a series of marked changes of external form, as the chrysalis stage, pupa stage, etc., in insects. In these intermediate stages sexual reproduction is usually impossible, but they ultimately pass into final and sexually developed forms, from the union of which organisms are produced which pass through the same cycle of changes. See Transformation.
  3. (Physiol.) The change of material of one kind into another through the agency of the living organism; metabolism. Vegetable metamorphosis (Bot.), the doctrine that flowers are homologous with leaf buds, and that the floral organs are transformed leaves.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Metamorphoses'


Metamorphoses (from Greek μετά meta and μορφή morphē, meaning "changes of shape"), is a Latin narrative poem in fifteen books by the Roman poet Ovid describing the history of the world from its 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.

Ovid works his way through his subject matter, often in an apparently arbitrary fashion, by jumping from one transformation tale to another, sometimes retelling what had come to be seen as central events in the world of Greek mythology and sometimes straying in odd directions. The poem is often called a mock-epic . It is written in dactylic hexameter, the form of the great heroic and nationalistic epic poems, both those of the ancient tradition (the Iliad and the Odyssey) and of Ovid's own day (the Aeneid by Virgil). It begins with the ritual "invocation of the muse", and makes use of traditional epithets and circumlocutions. But instead of following and extolling the deeds of a human hero, it leaps from story to story with little connection.

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