Catullus And Lesbia Analysis

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Introduction Lesbia is the subject of Catullus’s most passionate and seemingly sincere poems. The relationship between Catullus and Lesbia is tumultuous to say the least. His poems about Lesbia and their relationship display a wide range of emotions which change from a relationship of tenderness and love, to one of uncertainty, to one of sorrow and disappointment. They rapidly fall in and out of love with another. Their affections for one another are fickle and constantly changing. They have a mercurial kind of love. Catullus obviously loved Lesbia deeply, but he also feels intense dislike, disappointment and contempt towards her. Through it all, it seems as though Catullus longs for Lesbia, but Lesbia does not return the same amount of affection. Catullus often manipulates the audience’s emotions through his poetry and directs attention towards himself in order for the audience to feel sympathy for him and often contempt for Lesbia. Arrangement and Order I have discussed Catullus’s poems about Lesbia and their relationship in ascending order. This is not necessarily the order he wrote his poems in. However, there is unfortunately no irrefutable argument for how Catullus meant to arrange his poems. What we have in surviving manuscripts is a rough categorization by metre and genre: (a) there are the “polymetrics”, 1-60; (b) the mixed bag of long poems 61-68, though 65-68 are in elegiacs and must rather belong with (c), the elegies and epigrams (69-116). Such an arrangement

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