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Lecture 6

Week 6: Women and Literature Detailed and extensive notes on this week's topic, including helpful images from the week's slides. Like always, I wrote these notes during class, and then expanded them and added more detail afterwards listening to the day's

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Melanie Racette- Campbell

November 4 2010Women and LiteratureSappho poem analysisLooking at how Sappho deals with some subjects that men also deal with poem about Helensee poem 5 by Sappho in Plant bookSome say the most beautiful thing upon black earth Is an army of horsemen others infantryAnd others ships but I say it is whatever Priamel a literary devicefigure Someone loveswhere the poet lists all the things To make this understandable to allshe is not doing in this case all Is quite easy for the woman surpassing all Mortals in beauty Helen abandonedthe things that she is not finding Her excellent husbandmost beautiful Instead poem And sailing off she went to Troy and did notcontains a list of alternatives that Remember her child nor her dear parents the poet will not write about and At all but Cypris led her awayconcluding with the poets actual now reminds me of Anactoriawho is not heresubjectHer lovely walk and the bright shineOf her face I would rather look upon Than all the chariots of Lydia and fully armedInfantryPoem begins with priamelListing all the things that she is not doing or a list of things that she rejectThis list is instructive theyre all things that can be considered masculine and she rejects them in favour of love a private feelingA next point is in contrast to Sapphos treatment of HelenAlcaeus poem analysis Alcaeus was a contemporary of SapphoContains a harsh condemnation of Helen after beginning in ways thats not dissimilar from Sapphos treatment of HelenHow Helens actions lead to the death of many menSappho leaves this outseems more sympatheticneutral to HelenEspecially after she says the most beautiful thing is that which someone lovesand Helen ran off for that thing she lovesSulpiciaA hateful birthday is here that will have to be spent sadly In the dreadful countryside and without CerinthusWhat is sweeter than the city Would a country villa And a freezing river in Arrentine fields be suitable for a girlNow my overzealous Messalla please take a rest Journeys are often made at the wrong time uncleHere I leave my heart and my feelings if Im carried off Force does not allow me to make my own decisionsCalls her birthday hatefulbecause its a trip to the countryshell be suffering from her separation from her loverSulpicia is a young woman and an arisocratChildhood is relatively shorttime for youthful love affairs is relatively short especially for aristocratIts not as though shes a prostitute and her working years would be short but as an aristocrat she is expected to marry and have childrenHer time to have youthful love affairs will be extremely shortMale elegists do have some sort of sense of time being fleeting but they kind of live in this sense of an eternal present and the fleeting time is more for their mistresses who theyll frequently talk about as one day being old and ugly and on those future days they their mistresses will be sorrySulpicia shows a different way of looking at a womans youth than thisThird Line talks about sweetness of the citywhich is usual elogies usually take place in the fityWhen talking about the country usually its idealized as a youthful lovers retreatshe thinks of it as a hateful place a place of separation and unhappinessTalks about the freezing river being unsuitable for her2 of the Elegists men yell at their girlfriends for taking off to cold places and thing thatthese cold places are unsuitable for their girlfriends Sulpicia agreeMessallaher guardian her uncleSeems to have control of her movementsBarrier to her love affairFor male elegists usually the barrier is someone attached to the girlher husband another rivalFor Sulpicia the barrier is attached to her and not the other partner but its interesting that this is from a different perspectiveShes not in control of her own life and movementscompletely opposite of young men who may have been poor but they were able to dowithin their financial resourcesanything that they likedSulpicia has different barriers for fulfilling her desires than the male elegists doOverall she does deal with a lot of the same issues that male elegists do but from a different somewhat opposite perspectiveShe was not a poor male of probably questionable birth but she was a young aristocratic girl
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