Prayer In Confessions Analysis

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Prayers to Those Above: From Homer to Augustine To request a favor from a higher deity, people across time and location learn to pray and sacrifice to give back to the gods for hearing the pleas. Although years separate them, one can see that Greco-Roman authors often follow the same rules of praying to a god. However, even after the time of Ancient Greece and Rome can readers still find the invocation of gods with barely anything changed from the time before. Constantine's performance of prayer in Confessions is a sudden change from the those in the texts such as Homer's Iliad and Sappho's fragments students have read in the Literature Humanities course. With a sudden shift from a polytheistic Greco-Roman time to a monotheistic period, it is not…show more content…
Within one of her poems. Sappho calls upon "Deathless Aphrodite of the spangled mind, child of Zeus, who twists lures" (Sappho 3) to assist her with her love life. Sappho's invocation is rather brief compared to Constantine's continuous praise of God. With short descriptions of Aphrodite being the "O blessed one" or having a "deathless face" (Sappho 3), Sappho's respect to Aphrodite is mentioned through her portrayal of the goddess' past deeds for her. Constantine is out right with his praise, stating that God is "most high above things" (Constantine 31) or how God "will lighten [his] darkness" (Constantine 68). He also repeatedly calls the deity "Lord my God" throughout the book, contrasting with Sappho's one mention of Aphrodite's name in the beginning of her poem. God's repeated title serves as a way to ground Constantine and remind himself that his audience of the novel is God first then the mortal readers. On the other hand, Sappho's prayer switches her point of view, sometimes even putting Aphrodite herself as the speaker in the
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