Analysis Of The Book ' Metamorphoses Of The Werewolf '

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Metamorphoses of the Werewolf is a book that charts the evolution, growth and changes of werewolf stories “from Antiquity Throughout the Renaissance.” Each chapter focuses on a tale or set of myths in different time periods, and analyzes them, comparing and contrasting, as well as theorizing the meaning behind them based on textual evidence, mainly from church and court documents. Through this method, Ms. Sconduto points out direct correlations between werewolves and the belief systems of the churches in power. Starting with Chapter One, the author introduces the reader to the first few accounts of werewolves, or what would be considered werewolves by our current imagery. She discusses the ancient Epic of Gilgamesh, which is the first tale of a werewolf and the first story of a man falling victim to, and being transformed by, a “wicked woman,” which is a theme that runs through many of the older stories. She also brings up Ovid’s retelling of the Metamorphosis, a Greek story about Lycaon, who attempted to serve human flesh to Zeus and was horrifically punished for his actions. Next is the Satyricon, written by Petronius. From the stories presented, we are able to start classifying the subjects as going through either voluntary or involuntary transformations. Obviously organized religion found a way to interject itself into the forefront of these stories, as it often did back then, and Chapter Two is dedicated to tracking the Church’s initial responses towards

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