Essay on Homer and Sappho

627 Words3 Pages
HUM 300 - Classical Humanities
March 1, 2013 Sappho’s poem, entitled Fragment 16, is of the lyrical style instead of the epic style we are used to in Homer’s Iliad. The lyrical style of poetry got its name because it was usually accompanied by a lyre while it was recited. It also was used to express more emotion rather than telling a story. This form of poetry seems to be more artistic rather than the story telling of epic poetry of the time. In this poem we are able to use the comparison of different imagery to understand a common theme within the poem itself. The reason for the interesting title of the poem is because most of Sappho’s poetry is now only found in fragmented forms. Most of Sappho’s writing is from 600 B.C.E. As
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Perhaps this is what the Greek cavalry looked like riding off to war. This could be considered the glorification of the warrior or the athlete of the times, which is also shown in vase paintings and sculptor works. Also note that Sappho gives a historical aspect to the poem with mention of Helen, who was considered to be the most beautiful woman ever according to myth. Her beauty is being compared to the beauty of the army in Fragment 16. These are believes that Greeks hold in moral and ideals of their society. I personally love this poem for the idea of love and beauty that is in the eyes of the beholder. The fact that Sappho ties the culture and their stories of history along with her idea of beauty into one piece allows me to also think about what I might consider beautiful. And that beauty isn’t just beauty but it is love and respect. While I would never find beauty in anything war related I’m sure I’d have a different view if I lived during that time period but I can actually find a relation in myself to the people of Sappho’s time because of her work. I can imagine standing in awe of the army marching away to war as well as being in awe of a beautiful queen. While I find beauty in the ocean I’m sure I’d find beauty in the Greek
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