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Word Count: 1,067
The Golden Ass is not meant to be an accurate portrayal of Roman society in Apuleius time yet it reveals many things about the Roman way of life and way of thinking Though we cant take the fantastical elements of the story seriously the things that Apuleius treats as everyday occurrences most likely were everyday occurrences For instance there is a high level of sexuality among the characters in the book Sex is not treated as a taboo subject suggesting a higher degree of sexual openness than we see in many parts of the modern world Violence is also not as taboo as it is today by far The lack of real punishment for violent crime allows the characters of the book and no doubt the real citizens of Rome to commit crimes that would be horrifying to modern Americans Much of the violence seen in this book is in some way related to sex often it occurs when one lover cheats on the other This kind of sexual violence is frequent in The Golden Ass Apuleius shows the negative consequences of adultery to warn his readers about the dangers of cheating on a lover Apuleius seems to see nothing unusual in people of both sexes taking multiple lovers He doesnt portray adultery itself as a negative thing but he does show his readers that cheating can be very dangerous Men who cheat on their lovers or wives in this novel often find that their lovers become violent when jealous Both men and women cheat in this novel but most of the women in these situations are portrayed as violent jealous and aggressive Women commit the majority of the sexual violence in The Golden Ass Meroe the lover of Socrates who appears at the beginning of the book is the most villainous of these women She commits several violent acts because of jealousy or anger at the behavior of a lover She changes one cheating
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