Animals In Ovid's Metamorphoses

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Ovid begins his book Metamorphoses with the creation of earth. The world began with a single element called Chaos, it was found throughout the land until the gods created light and order. With the new earth came the creation of plants, animals, and the human race. However, the gods soon realized the ruin that came with each human. The gods summoned the great flood, which was a fresh start for the earth and its inhabitants. The gods spared all the animals and two humans to repopulate the earth. Animals were seen as neither good nor evil, they simply survived. Throughout the book many humans are transformed into animals as a reward or punishment, and with each transformation they are able to view the world from a different point of view and learn something new.
Animals are used as a middle ground in the Metamorphoses, if gods represent the light and humans represent darkness, then
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In ancient Roman society snakes represented regeneration and healing (Leonard, Vaughnlea) due to its appearance on the staff of the god Mercury. Cadmus is overwhelmed by the loss of his family members and spears a serpent. The teeth of the serpent are sprinkled on the earth and from that emerge human beings. As Cadmus realizes his mistake of killing a sacred serpent he is turned into a snake himself. Cadmus’ wife, Harmonia watches in horror as her husband transforms and begs the gods to transform her into a snake as well. Cadmus was transformed as a punishment, but, Harmonia begged the gods to transform her as well. Her transformation was a gift from the gods and Harmonia was happy to change her form. “But these days, they no longer flee from men, r Nor do they harm them; mindful of their

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