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Sex, Magic And The Golden Ass

Decent Essays
Katelyn White
Professor McRae
Greek and Roman Lit
Spring 2015
Sex, Magic and the Golden Ass The theme of curiosity in The Golden Ass has different relationships with sex, magic and knowledge. The curiosity about magic, turns to the desire to possess the magic and to learn how to use it. The main character of The Golden Ass, Lucius, ignores many warnings about practicing magic and the witch Pamphile who uses it. When Lucius’ lover Photis explains the role that magic had in the prank that was pulled on him, Lucius’ curiosity about magic is once again revived. He convinces Photis to watch Pamphile preform magic and then convinces her to steal some of Pamphile’s magic in order to turn himself into a bird. This action led to Lucius accidentally being turned into an ass. Before he can eat roses, which will turn him back into a human, he is carried off by a band of robbers. Lucius’ insatiable curiosity about magic and possessing is what causes him to turn into a donkey. The story of Cupid and Psyche is another warning about the dangers of curiosity. When Cupid saves Psyche from his mother Venus’ wrath caused by jealousy of Psyche’s beauty, he warns her never to try and look upon his face or find out who he is or else he will leave her. Cupid tells his new wife, “Above all, they seeking to persuade you to pry into my appearance, and as I have often warned you, a single glimpse of it will be your last” (pg. 86). Psyche is in love with her new husband and does not mind that she does
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