The Drama of Aristomenes and Socrates
Several studies in recent years have dealt with the theatricality of the inset tale of Aristomenes and Socrates, the first tale of the novel, told to Lucius by Aristomenes himself (Met. 1.5--20). Thus it sets the mood of theatricality for the whole novel after the prologue. Keulen most recently stressed the visuality in the vocabulary from the very beginning, for example Met. 1.6.5 ‘miserum aerumnae spectaculum’ (‘the wretched sight [lit. ‘spectacle’] of his hardships’). Many more studies concentrate on the obvious parallels between Socrates and Lucius, and Keulen studies Socrates as Lucius’ alter ego and ‘programmatic anticipation’ in terms of how both are narrators and storytellers. This chapter discusses the tale’s theatricality as an introduction to Lucius’ characterization and to the novel as a whole through spectacle and particularly drama, which is influential in helping to define Lucius’ character as partly derived from dramatic genres. Keulen primarily compares Apuleius’ Socrates with the portrait of the philosopher in Aristophanes’ Clouds and the Cynics. The chapter focuses on some of the wider tragic and comic imagery linked with Socrates and Aristomenes.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.