Discussion Questions: The Golden Ass

July 8, 2010 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

Hey there, y’all! (Yes, I’m feeling a little heat-loopy.) Anyway, as part of our fabulous Summer 2010 LT Classics Challenge, we will be delving into Apuleius’ The Golden Ass for the next two weeks, starting with some discussion questions this week and then some actual discussion next Thursday. So let’s get to the questions!

1. This book is the only complete novel to survive antiquity, something which sounds pretty cool until you realize these things were almost entirely decided by chance rather than literary merit or popularity. Despite this, The Golden Ass is still uniquely useful to modern scholars looking at the period. Discuss!

2. The story, as you may have noticed, takes a weird turn in the final book (XI). Do you think there is a reason Apuleius felt compelled to temper his otherwise romping story with a more somber religious ending? And does his decision have anything to do with modern-day claims that Book XI is actually autobiographical?

3. What do you make of the various romantic relationships portrayed in the book, notably Lucius and Fotis? What is Apuleius trying to say about these bonds and what can we take away from his portrayals of the general treatment of women by men and of men by women?

Tune in next week to discuss!



Entry filed under: LT Classics Challenge. Tags: , , , .

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