First, Adonis, a beautiful lad, is the favorite of the two goddess, Aphrodite and Persephone. When going hunting, Adonis is attacked fatally by Ares, the God of War and Aphrodite’s paramour, who disguises himself as a wild boar. Then, Adonis’ blood falls to the ground and at once a beautiful flower springs up. Second, Hyacinthus, a youth loved by Apollo and Zephyr, is killed by the jealous Zephyr seizing and hurling the discus back against Hyacinthus’ head. His blood spills on the ground where a new flower which is named after Hyacinthus appears.
Third, Apollo’s first love is Daphne, a lovely nymph, who doesn’t accept the god’s love and therefore runs away from him. When Apollo is about to catch her, Daphne cries for her father’s help and is turned into a laurel tree. Metamorphosis is inevitable in the Greek mythology for two reasons. It presents a conception of “from destruction to immortalization,” and explains many natural phenomena. Firstly, replete with the sense of aesthetic at that time, the ancient Greeks desire to make eternally last the image of beauty because all the life have limit and one day will fade away.
Secondly, their fanciful exposition of natural events concerning metamorphosis is an essential element in the mythology. The first and second stories of transformation are also known as flowery resurrection. The beautiful youths transform themselves into flowers to revive their life and beauty. The third story tells us the origin of laurel trees. Daphne’s virginity is reserved by being turned into a laurel tree which later is asserted to be Apollo’s permanently; she makes herself eternal via another reborn shape.
The three transformation stories also explain why the plants forementioned exist. In conclusion, using the method of metamorphosis is an unavoidable way in the mythology. The concept of eternalization is expressed by metamorphosis, a symbol of rebirth from destruction. Furthermore, out of people’s imagination, those who undertake metamorphosis are the gods. Their divine intervention usually leads to the character’s metamorphosis and the elucidation of natural phenomena, a core factor of the mythological stories.