What is Longus' Daphnis and Chloe all about?

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teachsuccess eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Hello! You asked about Daphnis and Chloe. This is a Greek romance by Longus and is all about how Daphnis and Chloe eventually fall in love and marry.

Set on the island of Lesbos, both Daphnis and Chloe are adopted as babies: Daphnis is adopted by a goatherd named Lamo and Chloe is adopted by a shepherd named Dryas. They grow up together; in their teens, they are given their own flocks to tend. As time goes on, they discover that they have romantic feelings towards each other, but both are so innocent that they do not quite know what to do with those feelings.

In the meantime, suitors for Chloe's hand in marriage cause Daphnis unease, as his own feelings of attraction for her are growing. Dorco and Lampis are both suitors who compete for Chloe's hand in marriage. Daphnis is to have the surprise of his life when he discovers his malady: he is sexually attracted to Chloe and wants to make love to her. With the help of a woman named Lycaenium, he finally experiences the ecstasy of love-making. However, Lycaenium warns Daphnis that Chloe's first time will be very painful. Unwilling to hurt his lady love, he concentrates instead on making himself worthy of Chloe so that he can marry her. With the aid of nymphs, he finds a purse of silver; with this silver, he hopes to win Chloe's hand in marriage.

However, Lamo (Daphnis' adopted father) wants to first consult with his master, Dionysophanes. After a chain of events, it is discovered that both Daphnis and Chloe are actually children of wealthy parents. Daphnis is found to be the son of Dionysophanes and Chloe is found to be the daughter of Megacles. Both wealthy parents are happy for their child to marry the other. On Daphnis and Chloe's wedding night, Chloe finally discovers the joy of consummating a marriage.

Hope this helps!

Read the study guide:
Daphnis and Chloë

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