Document Type


Publication Date



C.S. Lewis's last novel, Till We have Faces: A Myth Retold, concerns transformations. After all, it deals with the myth of Psyche. In Greek, Psyche means not only soul but also butterfly.1 This brings to mind the metamorphosis of a crawling caterpillar into a winged butterfly, analogous to the protagonist's transformation from mortal to goddess. In Lewis's retelling, not only does a mortal human becomes an immortal goddess,2 but also, an ugly soul turns beautiful, a coarse, barbaric populace grows into a gracious civilization, and cruel divinities with a thirst for human blood become loving guardians of the human race. Lewis's protagonist and narrator, Orual, who only becomes "Psyche" at the end, both enacts and observes these transformations, which, to be sure, can only be completed by the divine power with whom she seems to be at odds until the end.


The version of record is available from Mythlore, which is published by the Mythopoeic Society at Mythlore is a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal that focuses on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Charles Williams, and the genres of myth and fantasy. This article appears in issue 105/106, according to Mythlore’s previous convention of assigning issues. Copyright © 2009 the author. All rights reserved.