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Apuleius: Cupid and Psyche

5. Language and Style

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About this Lecture

Lecture

In this module, we explore Apuleius’ language and style by providing a close analysis of a single chapter in the Cupid and Psyche episode – 5.13. In particular, we think about: (i) Apuleius’ range of vocabulary, from the colloquial and vulgar to the refined and poetic; (ii) his use of alliteration; (iii) his use of archaisms (e.g. incertans) and hapax legomena (e.g. parciloquio); (iv) the allusions to literary genres such as Roman comedy and love poetry; (v) the echoes of the religious language of prayer and of mystery cult; (vi) his wordplay based on multilingulism (e.g. Pyschae animam) and etymology (tenebrae, teneo te); and (vii) the echoes of the story of Dido and Aeneas.

Course

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.


Further Reading:

Primary Reading:
– 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)

Commentary:
– E. J. Kenney, Apuleius. Cupid and Psyche (1990)

Secondary Reading:
– S. J. Harrison, Apuleius. A Latin Sophist (2000)
– S. J. Harrison, Characterisation in Apuleius’ Metamorphoses. Nine Studies (2015)

Lecturer

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

APA style

May, R. (2019, December 21). Apuleius: Cupid and Psyche - Language and Style [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/apuleius-cupid-and-psyche/language-and-style

MLA style

May, Regine. "Apuleius: Cupid and Psyche – Language and Style." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 21 Dec 2019, https://www.massolit.io/courses/apuleius-cupid-and-psyche/language-and-style

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