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Proteus: The Shape-shifting God

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Proteus is a magical character who first appears in book 3 of Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene.

Proteus is a shape shifter, literally and figuratively. We see this manifest not only in his ability to change his physical form, but in the role that he plays in the story.

For example, when we first see him, he is rescuing Florimell from being assaulted by an old fisherman. Seems like a great guy, right?

Think again.

Once Proteus takes Florimell to his home in an old sea cave, he then proceeds to fall madly in love with her and try to force himself on her as well. This lasts for several months.

This sudden shift in apparent heroics is consistent with his shape shifter identity.

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Jason is a Mythic Fantasy Author and creator of MythBank. He loves mythology, history, and geek culture. When he's not writing, his favorite hobbies include hiking, chilling with his wife, spouting nonsense words at his baby daughter, and developing this (and other) websites.

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