Ovid, Metamorphoses

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Daphne, fleeing Apollo, becomes a tree:

"Her prayer was scarcely finished when she feels / a torpor take possession of her limbs -- / her supple trunk is girdled with a thin / layer of fine bark over her smooth skin; / her hair turns into foliage, her arms / grow into branches, sluggish roots adhere / to feet that were so recently so swift, / her head becomes the summit of a tree; / all that remains of her is a warm glow." (I.754-762)

Io, turned into a cow, can't speak, so she writes:

"when she tried to utter a complaint / she only mooed -- a sound which terrified her, / fearful as she now was of her own voice" (I.883-5); "If words would just have come, she would have spoken, / telling them who she was, how this had happened, / and begging their assistance in her case; / but with her hoof, she drew lines in the dust, / and letters of the words she could not speak / told the sad story of her transformation" (I.896-901)

daughters of Minyas tell stories while weaving, most having to do with cloth/textiles: Pyramus and Thisbe (Pyramus kills himself after seeing Thisbe's bloody cloak); Mars and Venus (Vulcan catches the lovers by weaving a net of bronze links); Sun and Leucothoe (Sun comes to Leucothoe while she's weaving with her servants); Salmacis the feminizing fountain

  • at the end of their stories "their weaving greened," bursting forth as ivy and grape vines (IV.541)
  • "what had lately been unliving threads / are vine sprouts now, while soft vine tendrils trail / from the distaff, and brightly clustered grapes / now seek to match the woven purple dye!" (IV.544-7)
  • daughters are turned into bats

Arachne; challenges Athene to a weaving match; c.f. the tapestries they construction to Achilles' shield in Homer, Iliad and Aeneas' shield in Virgil, Aeneid

speaking, tongues, voices in the rape of Philomela (VI. 750ff); c.f. Lavinia in Titus Andronicus; because she can't speak, she weaves her story (VI.830ff)