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4. Characters and Themes
About this Lecture
In this module, we analyse some of the characters in the story of Cupid and Psyche, before exploring some of the key themes. In particular, we think about: (i) the characterisation of Psyche’s sisters; (ii) the characterisation of Psyche – her beauty, her bravery, and her curiosity; (iii) the parallels between Lucius and Psyche, including their characteristics, what happens to them, and their similarly ambiguous fates; and (iv) the theme of curiosity (Latin: curiositas) more generally.
In this course, Dr Regine May (University of Leeds) explores the story of Cupid and Psyche in Apuleius’ Metamorphoses. In the first module, we think about the literary and historical context of Apuleius’ Metamorphoses, before turning in the second module to consider the ancient novel as a genre. In the third module, we explore some of the literary echoes contained within the story of Cupid and Psyche – epic, tragedy, fairy-tale, love poetry, etc. – before moving on in the fourth module to analyse some of the key characters in the story, as well as thinking about some of the key themes. Finally, in the fifth module, we explore Apuleius’ language and style in more detail with a close reading and detailed analysis of a single chapter within the Cupid and Psyche story: 5.13.
– S. R. Thomson, Apuleius. Metamorphoses V. A Selection. (2018)
– R. May, Apuleius. The Story of Cupid and Psyche. Translation, Introduction and Notes (2019)
– P. G. Walsh, Apuleius. The Golden Ass (2008)
– P. G. Walsh, Petronius. Satyricon (2009)
– E. J. Kenney, Apuleius. Cupid and Psyche (1990)
– S. J. Harrison, Apuleius. A Latin Sophist (2000)
– S. J. Harrison, Characterisation in Apuleius’ Metamorphoses. Nine Studies (2015)
Dr Regine May is Associate Professor in Latin Language and Literature at the University of Leeds, with a special interest in ancient drama and the Latin novel. Her most recent publications include a book on Apuleius' use of Roman comedy, tragedy and mime, Apuleius and Drama: The Ass on Stage (2006), and a commentary on Apuleius Metamorphoses Book 1: With an Introduction, Translation and Notes(2013).
Cite this Lecture
May, R. (2019, December 21). Apuleius: Cupid and Psyche - Characters and Themes [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/apuleius-cupid-and-psyche/characters-and-themes
May, R. "Apuleius: Cupid and Psyche – Characters and Themes." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 21 Dec 2019, https://www.massolit.io/courses/apuleius-cupid-and-psyche/characters-and-themes