The Art of Drawing the Penis
Petronius and Apuleius Essay
Encolpius in the Satyricon and Lucius in Metamorphoses are each put in the role of outsiders on the fringes of society and are enabled to act as observers and commentators - The Art of Drawing the Penis introduction. Although they are viewed as outcasts and deal with the same types of scenarios, Encolpius and Lucius live in two completely different worlds. Encolpius and Lucius respond to their societies and the people they encounter in their own individual ways.
Firstly, discussing Encolpius and his background will begin our knowledge on how he and Lucius differ. Encolpius in the Satyricon lives in a world where he is constantly tempted by sex. The former gladiator and newly arriving student is involved in a sexual relationship with his sixteen-year old lover and slave-boy, Giton. Throughout the novel, Encolpius struggles with staying faithful to his lover. Encolpius is enticed more than once throughout the novel by some sort of sexual pleasure that leads to him being unfaithful to Giton. On top of being a faithless lover, Encolpius has a criminal background. The book speaks of him stealing and even murdering a man. Being unfaithful and having a criminal background shows a little bit of the type of person Encolpius was.
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Secondly, we will review Lucius and his background in Metamorphoses. Lucius, a man of good birth and a mentor, starts out his journey on the way to Thessaly where he hears a hard-to-believe tale that intrigues his curiosity about magic and myths. Throughout the first half of The Golden Ass, Lucius learns about a few literal and metaphorical tales that sparks his interests on the magic happening within Thessaly. He learns that the wife of the family he is staying with is a witch and tries to turn himself into a bird as he saw her do. Instead of turning into a bird, his curiously led him into changing into an ass. The novel continues with Lucius going on many journeys as an ass and learning and hearing even more stories relating to magic. After all of his hardships and journeys, Lucius eventually comes into contact with the goddess Isis and she changes him back into human form after joining her cult.
Now that we know a little behind the characters of Encolpius and Lucius, we can compare the two to one another. Encolpius and Lucius are each the main characters and the narrators in their novels. Everything in Satyricon and Metamorophoses is involved around the two. Encolpius and Lucius both deal with temptation. However, Encolpius struggles with sexual temptation and Lucius struggles with the temptation of magic. Lucius is a curious character and wants to learn about everything whereas Encolpius is more into pleasuring himself. They both relate in the way that Encolpius is a student and Lucius is a mentor. In Satyricon, it tells how Encolpius is a new student and in The Golden Ass it tells how Lucius ran into a former student at the market – hence, he is a mentor. As it has already been stated, Encolpius has a criminal background relating to burglary and murder. Lucius was thought to have killed three men in The Golden Ass but it ended up being wineskins, not men. Even though Lucius was thought to have murdered a few men, Lucius comes off as a peaceful character where as Encolpius comes off as a bit chaotic.
All in all, Encolpius and Lucius handle their situations in very different ways. Encolpius allows temptation to take over and becomes vulnerable in scenarios whereas Lucius tries to think things through thoroughly and come up with a clever plan. Satyricon and Metamorphoses shows the reader how two men coming from Roman novels react to climatic scenarios in completely different ways.