The Golden Ass

1237 WordsOct 2, 20125 Pages
Apuleius wrote the Golden Ass during the Second Century A.D. In it he talked about many complex allegorical contexts and layers of meaning pertaining to varying religious practices. He was able to do this by essentially switching back and forth between side stories which might or might not intertwine with the overall story. The religion of Isis was predominant in comparing the other lesser known or rather “inferior” religions of the time such as Christianity. It seems as if Isis was praised in a way that would grant her saint-like qualities. Many things were considered important surrounding this including dreams and the recounting of them to priests, as well as snakes associated with Aesculapius and the healing procedures associated with…show more content…
There also is a misogynistic view of women throughout the book and their almost inescapable correlation with magic and practices used essentially for evil. The story of Thelyphron discusses this correlation, with women being the center of the story as well as the themes of magic and the occult. Traditional religion of the day gave high regard and respect for the dead, more than the living in most cases, and as such stringent funeral rites and burial procedures were hence followed to ensure proper passage of the soul or reincarnation depending on what path you specifically may take. Hence in this story, when it comes to mutilating the body of Thelyphron, instead of treating it as an unthinkable crime, it only elicits laughter from the crowd. This act shows a shift in the story where ridicule and public humiliation play an essential role in demeaning the rights of citizens and legal condemnation is put into a clearer context. Public condemnation was also shown in the story of Aristomenes when he was scared in being falsely accused of Socrates’ murder, driving him into hiding. This theme also carries onto the trial of Lucius, which apparently turns out to be nothing more than an elaborate, and decidedly cruel, practical joke. The repeated fear of condemnation and subsequent absolution are evident throughout the story because this umbrella of fear kept control on peoples actions, and maybe in a way were also the fears and insecurities
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