Transforming the Genre: Apuleius' Metamorphoses
This paper compares the plot-line of Apuleius’ Metamorphoses to that of the ideal novels. Comparison shows that Apuleius alters the dynamics of the typical romance plot by emphasizing Lucius’ pursuit of slavish pleasures, and by introducing a model of marriage between a mortal and the divine. This change to the ‘ideal’ structure is due to the religious end to the work. The validity of this reading is best confirmed by the mirror text of Cupid and Psyche, which is embedded in the center of the novel and more closely follows the model structure of the ideal novels, as if the author wished to offer a key to interpreting the surrounding narrative.
Stavros Frangoulidis is Associate Professor at the Department of Classics, Universityof Crete. He is the author of Roles and Performances in Apuleius’ Metamorphoses and of Handlung und Nebenhandlung: Theater, Metatheater und Gattungsbewusstein in der römischen Komödie, both published by Metzler. He has also published extensively in the fields of the Roman novel and Roman New Comedy. He is currently working on a book on narrative and thematic contrasts in Apuleius’ Metamorphoses.