Benefits and Moral Development in Apuleius' Metamorphoses

  • Ron Newbold


Kohlberg’s theory of moral development can be applied to a study of the benefits that are conferred upon people in the Metamorphoses, including those in Book 11, to illuminate the values and motives involved in that fic­tional world. Benefits are conferred with various degrees of disinterested­ness, from none to much, but show little concern for or awareness of larger societal perspectives or concerns. Lucius' initiations in Book 11 bring valued benefits to him but do not inspire any immediately apparent moral develop­ment. The Platonic irony and playfulness that Apuleius brings to his treat­ment of Lucius’ adventures, especially in Book 11, suggest how much fur­ther Lucius’ development has to go.