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By Lacey, Walter Kirkpatrick

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Both Lucius and Psyche appear incapable of resisting a strong desire for forbidden knowledge and thus put their lives at risk. Just as Psyche suffers relatively mild punishment when compared to that of her jealous sisters, who meet a cruel death for having advised Psyche to discover her husband’s hidden identity, so Lucius, as victim of magic, escapes the fate of other similar characters in the novel’s tales. The prerequisite for the salvation of both Psyche and Cupid is submission to the divine: Psyche must submit to Venus if she wishes to regain her separated husband.

At home, or in what place? j Where in the past hounds divided up Aktaion. All references to the Bacchae in this work are to Diggle (1994); all translations of the play are by Seaford (1996). 26 Chapter 1 The Onos versus Apuleius’ Metamorphoses Figure 1: Fresco depicting Diana and Actaeon (Soprintendenza archeologica, Pompeii). esting observation that the sculpture represents more than one moment in time:72 Actaeon is already undergoing the punishment for his curiosity by being metamorphosed into a stag, but the naked object of that desire is not present before his eyes.

15 – 23). 24). Magic, a powerful force, is left in the hands of fallible mortals with catastrophic consequences. Finally, through Lucius’ metamorphosis into an ass, the author’s play with the expectations of readers, who have long ago anticipated his misfortune, comes to an end. The repeated warnings about the dangers of magic—given in the form of inserted tales or advice from aunt Byrrhena—make the theme of Lucius’ metamorphosis into an ass also appear more natural than in the Onos, where developments are not foreshadowed in any way.

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