Spectacles of a dormant soul: A reading of Plato's Gyges and Apuleius' Lucius

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


A comparison between Book 3,21-25 of the Metamorphoses and Plato's Republic 2,359c-360b is pivotal for understanding how Apuleius stages entry into the space of the fantastic. In both episodes, desire, sight and the forbidden collaborate in creating the passage to the world of fiction, shaping it as a dreamlike experience, a psychological event of the unconscious. But the similarity between Plato's and Apuleius' fiction can be illuminated especially through an examination of Plato's monstrous images of the soul. The essay shows that for Plato and Apuleius the entrance to the fantastic is meant to shed light on the unfamiliar sides of the soul. Comparing the two episodes from the Republic and the Metamorphoses will allow us to see that they share a motivation: the staging of that unknown part of the soul that escapes the rule of the rational.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCultural Crossroads in the Ancient Novel
PublisherDe Gruyter
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781501503986
ISBN (Print)9781501519420
StatePublished - 4 Dec 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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