The hero of the novel, Lucius is a handsome, cocky, and curious young man whose longing to observe dark magic accidentally turns him into an ass. He is then plunged into serious of misadventures, such as being captured by bandits, being beaten nearly to death, becoming a celebrity for eating human food and having sex with human women, and, at the end, becoming an initiate of Isis, to whom he pledges his eternal devotion from delivering him from his condition. A man whom Lucius meets on the road to Thessaly, who tells him of his terrible adventure with Socrates and the witch Meroe. The famed philosopher, here he is a friend of Aristomenes, wasted and destroyed by the witch Meroe. The witch who casts a spell on Socrates and threatens the life of Aristomenes when he criticizes her and learns of her doings. The wealthy friend with whom Lucius stays in Thessaly. He is married to Pamphile, but seems largely unaware of the darkness of her magic.
The Role of Women and Magic in “The Golden Ass” by Apuleius
Full text of "Apuleius The Golden Ass - Penguin Classics"
Lucius, the narrator, is journeying to Thessaly. On his way he meets a man named Aristomenes , who tells him a story of Socrates , a friend of his whom he encountered along the road. Socrates had fallen in with a witch, who later killed him and frightened Aristomenes. In Thessaly he stays with Milo and his wife, Pamphile , a notorious witch. Lucius encounters his aunt, Byrrhena , who warns him of Pamphile. While in town Lucius is also the centerpiece of the festival of Laughter when, drunkenly, he stabs three wineskins thinking they are robbers and is taken to a fake trial. Lucius begins to sleep with the maid, Photis.
The Cast of Characters
The protagonist of the novel is called Lucius. The plot revolves around the protagonist's curiosity curiositas and insatiable desire to see and practice magic. While trying to perform a spell to transform into a vulture, he is accidentally transformed into an ass.
The main character of the books is a handsome, curious, eager young man. He tells the story of Socrates and a witch. Socrates Book I A philosopher who is trapped with a witch after having been enchanted. Meroe Book I Evil witch who enchants Socrates and threatens Aristomenes when he learns about what she has done. He is married to Pamphile, but he seems to either not know or not care about her status as a witch.