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Les Poires, as sold separately to cover the expenses of a trial of Le Charivari
Les Poires, as sold separately to cover the expenses of a trial of Le Charivari
Danae (1907-08) by Gustav Klimt depicting Zeus, the master of metamorphosis, as a golden shower.
Image:Heliades's metamorphosis into a tree.jpg
Heliades' metamorphosis into a tree. Metamorphosis is a common horror trope.

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Metamorphosis (disambiguation)

Metamorphosis is a biological process by which an animal physically develops after birth or hatching, involving a conspicuous and relatively abrupt change in the animal's form or structure. Some insects as well as other species undergo metamorphosis, which is usually (but not always) accompanied by a change of habitat or behaviour.

In mythology

As gathered by Edith Hamilton, in her book Mythology introduces the following characters as a handful of those going under metamorphosis: Arcas, Dioscouri, Orion, Philemon and Baucis, daphne, Heliades, Myrrha, Adonis, Hyacinthus, Narcissus, Actaeon, lycaon, Midas, Battus, Anaxarete, Cycnus, perdix, Cadmus and Harmonia, Tithonus, Alcyone, Arethusa, Atalanta and melanion, Cephalus, Ceyx, Clytie, Daphne, Glaucus and Scylla, Hephaestus, Lichas, Leucippus, Laius, Lycius, Melanippe, Munichus, Menippe, Minthe, Neophron, Nemesis, Oenoe, Pandareus, Periclymenus, Philyra, phineus, Polyphonte, Philomela, polytechnos, Alope, Ambrosia, Theophane, Vertumnus and Zagreus.

Metamorphosis as a trope

Metamorphoses of any kind have been popular since Ovid's Metamorphoses. Metamorphosis is a frequently used horror trope which can take many forms: crosses between humans and plants, objects and humans, etc…

A particular variety of metamorphosis is people turned into furniture. Two stories in which humans transform into chairs make use of this plot device: the French libertine novel The Sofa (1742) by Crébillon fils and the Japanese short story The Human Chair (1925) by Edogawa Rampo. In both stories a man becomes a sofa, in the former quite literally so (by a curse), in the latter, a man hides in sofa to feel the persons who sit in him.

The archetypical metamorphosis story is The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka in which a man wakes up to find himself transformed into a vermin.

In cinema it has remained a popular trope, for example in The Little Shop of Horrors (1960) by Roger Corman a plant becomes a carnivore, and after it has eaten a number of people, the last buds of the plant open and reveal the faces of the people it has eaten.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Metamorphosis" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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