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In fiction: The Golden Ass: Or Metamorphoses (100s) - Apuleius - Merryland (1740) - Thomas Stretzer - The Metamorphosis (1915) - Franz Kafka
Unknown engraving of Heliades turning into trees
Physical metamorphosis is a theme in painting, sculpture, photography, and cinema revealing an ongoing fascination with all manner of transformations and distortions of the human form. Ranging from classical to modern times, it presents itself as zoomorphism; hybrids from mythology, the hells of Hieronymus Bosch, and the caricatures of Grandville; "botanomorphism," people as plants; treatments of body as landscape and landscape as body; the personification of genitalia; and engineered beings such as Frankenstein-type creatures and cyborgs. [Oct 2006]
image sourced here.
Anthropomorphism, also referred to as personification or prosopopeia, is the attribution of human characteristics to inanimate objects, animals, forces of nature, and others. "Anthropomorphism" comes from two Greek words, anthr?pos, meaning human, and morph?, meaning shape or form. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropomorphism [Mar 2005]
Therianthropy is a generic term for any transformation of a human into an animal form, either as a part of mythology or as a spiritual concept. The word is derived from Greek theros, meaning "wild animal," and anthr?pos, meaning "man". --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Therianthropy [Mar 2005]
The Fly (1958) - Kurt Neumann
The Fly (1958) - Kurt Neumann [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
The Fly is a 1958 American sci-fi / horror film, directed by Kurt Neumann. Written by George Langelaan (story) and James Clavell. The film was remade in 1986 and 2005.
A scientist (David Hedison) has an horrific accident when he tries to use his newly invented teleportation device. As he attempts to transport himself, a fly gets inside the machine and a malfunction results in a half man, half fly hybrid - a human with a fly's head - being transported. The creature is ultimately destroyed. In the famous twist ending, the scientist's original head, now on the fly's body, is seen in a spider's web, screaming "Help me! Help me!" as the spider approaches.
Tagline: She had to kill the thing her husband had become -- But could she? --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fly_%281958%29 [Mar 2005]
Shapeshifting or transmogrification
Shapeshifting, transformation or transmogrification refers to a change in the form or shape of a person. It primarily refers to:
- a change from human form to animal form and vice versa
- a change in appearance from one person to another
- a change in age in the person
Although shapeshifting is not believed to be scientifically or medically possible, it is a common theme in myth and a popular theme in science fiction and fantasy stories.
"Shapeshifting" often refers to characters who change form on their own, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, while "transformation" refers more commonly to externally imposed change of form, whether by magic or sufficiently advanced technology. However, there is no settled agreement on the terminology. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shapeshifting [Mar 2005]
Green Man depiction from British Cathedral
image sourced here. [Mar 2005]
The Green Man is a symbol of uncertain origin common in the British Isles. Classic examples are most frequently found among the stonework in and on churches, though it is more likely pagan in nature. It depicts a man with foliage for hair, usually with either a leafy beard or with leaves growing out of his mouth and nose. A similar nature spirit is the wild man of the woods, the woodwose. Other possible references to him are Green George, Jack-in-the-Green, John Barleycorn and the Green Knight.
The image of the Green Man is popular with modern Wiccans and other Neopagans.
The name "Green Man" was a term coined by Lady Raglan in 1939. It appeared in her article The Green Man in Church Architecture, published in the Folklore Journal. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Man [Mar 2005]
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