Apuleius The Golden Ass

The Golden Ass
Chapters 1 and 2
By Thatcher Green
Book 1
• Narrator describes
himself but does not
name himself
• Starts off the story
describing him going to
• He meets 2 men on the
The Tale of Aristomenes
• The two men are chatting about an
unbelieveable story
• Aristomenes explains if people can swallow
swords magic is real
• Our unnamed narrator then recounts the
story told to him by Aristomenes
The Tale of Aristomenes
• The main character is
Socrates the famous
• Socrates explains how he
became intimate with a
• When they go to sleep
witches come and turn
Aristomenes into a turtle
• Takes out Socrates heart
and puts in a sponge
The Tale of Aristomenes
• Aristomenes then tries to kill himself to not be
framed for Socrates murder
• He fails but wakes up Socrates
• Aristomenes and Socrates later go to a stream
to drink
• This is where Socrates sponge that was in
place of his heart falls out and he dies
Book 1
• Finally he reaches a town where his friend
Milo Lives
• Milo gives him a place to stay
• We learn the narrators name is Lucius
Book 2
• Begins with Lucius meeting long lost family
• His aunt Byrrhena warns him of Milos wife is a
• This only entices Lucius because he is
interested in Magic
• Lucius goes home excited has sex with Milos
• Then goes to dinner at Byrrhenas
The Tale of Thelyphron
• When the subject of witches and magic get
brought up Thelyphron a guest at dinner
enters the conversation
• Thelyphron is hired to guard a body from
witches who steal body parts
• He falls asleep after chasing a weasal but the
body is still intact when he wakes up
The Tale of Thelyphron
• The town charges the wife of the dead man of
poisoning him
• An Egyptian priest is in the town and is tasked
with reviving the body in order to gain true
• The dead body reveals that his wife did kill
him and the witches had forced him to do
their dark magic
The Tale of Thelyphron
• The body also notes that though Thelyphron
defended him valiantly
• But reveals that Thelyphron is without ears or
a nose because the witches had taken them
• Laughter ensues in both the tale and where
the story is being told
• Lucius returns home and kills 3 robbers before
going to bed
• Carnivalesque
– This is the idea
that the ordinary
can be changed by
chaos, magic, or
the extraordinary
– "It confronts one
with the depravity
of the world, and
with the possibility
of the sublime”
– Lucius is seduced
by the nature of
Magic in The
Golden Ass

similar documents