The Golden Ass

The Golden Ass Irony

Lucius' inability to recognize warnings

Lucius cannot see the irony in his own situation, which is that he experienced many warnings and examples of what not to do in regards to magic but still persisted in being self-willed and curious.

The unwitting insight of the auctioneer

The auctioneer says, "You could believe that in this ass's skin there lurks an unassuming human being" (155), which is, of course, ironic because it's true.

People's amazement at Lucius "acting" human

It is ironic that people marvel at Lucius's ravenous consumption of human food and his ability to learn human "tricks," as he is actually a human being and is thus predisposed to both.

Lucius's attitudes towards women

Lucius's attitudes toward women are ironic, in that first he sees them only in a sexual light and is prone to judging them unfairly (as with Charite), but then devotes his life to serving the all-powerful goddess Isis.