The complete change of physical form, or of appearance. The genre of metamorphic narrative is first developed by Ovid, writing in Latin in the years around the birth of Christ. His wonderful epic poem Metamorphoses influenced many writers thereafter – among them Shakespeare – who adapted their stories of transformation to their own purposes.
For a specimen metamorphosis see Narcissus and Echo.
Dryden provided one of the finest translation of parts of Ovid's work in his Fables Ancient and Modern (…
Editors. "Metamorphosis". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 April 2004
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1662, accessed 26 February 2017.]