Roman Love Poetry - York University

Roman Love Poetry - York University

Erotic Poetry The Representation of Women in Roman Love Poetry ppt. Greene, Ellen. The Erotics of Domination: Male Desire and the Mistress in Latin Love Poetry. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998. Presenters:

Mark Klement Sociology Wally Mesquita Political Sci.St. Marys Danielle Kong Anthropology Flanagan Ruth Otazu

Sofia Strimban English Sociology St. Joan of Arc Charles W. Mother Theresa The Abelard School Key Points: main focus is on the power dynamic that exists between the female character in the poetry and male narrator

many of the romantic poems objectify women and rob them of power, personality and presence. the woman in the poem serves not only as fuel for the narrators erotic passion but also has the function of being the vehicle for his poetic discourse. Greene exposes the stereotypical gender-restricted representation of women, the objectifying male gaze and the exploitation of the female as a love-inspiring muse. Catullus

The love object of the narrator is deprived of reason and power and is left mute and defenseless By mastering his desire, the narrator has also mastered the cause of it, which in this case is Lesbia. Lesbia is not only stripped of her feminine power but also of any personality, presence or voice. Lesbia is merely an object of desire to be used for his

pleasure, however once she has betrayed him and is therefore no longer useful, she is demonized and discarded. Propertius and Ovid The metaphorical content of the poems works to reverse the apparently empowered position in which the female appears. The depiction of the narrator as love-sick and miserable due to his entrapment by the passion he feels for his object of desire is nothing more than a literary flourish meant to establish the narrator as a successful love poet

The woman is helpless and subordinate through the description of her by the male narrator in his fantasy. A comparison is drawn between the female characters and mythological heroines famous for their mistreatment and helplessness. Concluding Quote [Women are] the projection of male fantasy and desire and moreover reflect male stereotypes about women which deny them agency and autonomy. (Greene 55)

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