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Book 4: Pyramus and Thisbe Notes from Metamorphoses

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Metamorphoses Book 4: Pyramus and Thisbe

Pyramus and Thisbe were neighbors in ancient Babylon, and their homes were separated by a large, brick wall. Although they loved one another, they could not marry because of a disagreement between their fathers, and so they talked with each other through a narrow chink in the wall. They decided to meet one night at Ninus' tomb in the woods outside Babylon. While Thisbe waited for her lover, a lioness came to the nearby stream, and it frightened Thisbe away. When she fled, she dropped her shawl and the lioness ripped it with her bloody jaws and then left the stream. Pyramus came to Ninus' tomb and found his love's ripped, bloody shawl and assumed that she'd been killed by a lion. He killed himself with his sword to be with his love. Thisbe soon returned and found Pyramus slain there, and so she killed herself as well. Their blood changed the color of the mulberry tree under which they lay. The berries changed from white to burgundy from the lovers' blood.

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