Please wait while we process your payment
If you don't see it, please check your spam folder. Sometimes it can end up there.
Don’t have an account?
Create Your Account
Sign up for your FREE 7-day trial
Already have an account? Log in
Choose Your Plan
$4.99/month + tax
$24.99/year + tax
Save over 50% with a SparkNotes PLUS Annual Plan!
for a group?
Get Annual Plans at a discount when you buy 2 or more!
$18.74 /subscription + tax
Subtotal $37.48 + tax
on 2-49 accounts
on 50-99 accounts
Want 100 or more?
for a customized plan.
You'll be billed after your free trial ends.
7-Day Free Trial
Renews December 13, 2023
December 6, 2023
Discounts (applied to next billing)
This is not a valid promo code.
(one code per order)
Annual Plan - Group Discount
SparkNotes Plus subscription is $4.99/month or $24.99/year as selected above. The free trial period is the first 7 days of your subscription. TO CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION AND AVOID BEING CHARGED, YOU MUST CANCEL BEFORE THE END OF THE FREE TRIAL PERIOD. You may cancel your subscription on your Subscription and Billing page or contact Customer Support at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your subscription will continue automatically once the free trial period is over. Free trial is available to new customers only.
For the next 7 days, you'll have access to awesome PLUS stuff like AP English test prep, No Fear Shakespeare translations and audio, a note-taking tool, personalized dashboard, & much more!
You’ve successfully purchased a group discount. Your group members can use the joining link below to redeem their group membership. You'll also receive an email with the link.
Members will be prompted to log in or create an account to redeem their group membership.
Thanks for creating a SparkNotes account! Continue to start your free trial.
Your PLUS subscription has expired
Motifs are recurring structures, contrasts, and literary devices that can help to develop and inform the text’s major themes.
Although the gods of Ovid’s Metamorphoses are a violent, capricious bunch, the punishments they mete out are not entirely random. In general, the gods penalize wickedness and reward piety. Ovid sets the tone in Book I, in which the gods punish Lycaon, an impious man who tries to kill Jupiter in his sleep, and reward Deucalion and Pyrrha, two models of piety. Later, Bacchus punishes the daughters of Minyas and Pentheus for refusing to worship him, Minerva punishes Arachne for her unyielding heart, and Latona punishes Niobe for her boasting. Jupiter rewards Baucis and Philemon for their generous hospitality. Even when the gods are not involved, punishment usually falls on the wicked, and rewards on the pious. Tereus is paid back for raping his wife’s sister and cutting out her tongue when he unwittingly eats his own son and is transformed into a bird. And Iphis’s piety is rewarded when she is changed into a young man so that she might marry Ianthe, a Greek maiden.
Among other things, the Metamorphoses is a collection of stories and stories within stories. Ovid plays with many narratives that would have been familiar to his audience, such as the Trojan War, Ulysses’ travels, and Aeneas’s founding of Rome. He takes these narratives as a starting point and then reverses our expectations or stresses a surprising aspect of a familiar tale. Ovid’s narrator is not the only, or even the primary, storyteller. He often hands the reins to other characters. There are also embedded stories, which means that characters within these characters’ stories tell their own tales. In fact, roughly a third of the Metamorphoses consists of embedded stories. We hear from a diverse group of characters, including men, women, gods, nymphs, and even animals. No one perspective is dominant or consistent. Even within the same story, the perspectives of different characters can conflict with each other. With his varied storytelling techniques, Ovid achieves a kaleidoscopic effect.
Ace your assignments with our guide to Metamorphoses!