Essay by Daniel KolenichJunior High, 8th gradeA+, January 1996

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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...