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Ovid And Tibullus

Good Essays
How and Whom Do We Love?

Roman poets Ovid, Catullus, Propertius, and Tibullus, all define love in a similar way. All four poets describe love as being unrequited and sexual, with Ovid, Catullus and Tibullus being more erotic. Though they all are in "love" with their mistresses, they describe verbal and physical signs of abuse within the same timeframe of describing their passions. How can the two be connected when so vastly apart? Ovid writes about the same type of puella as Catullus, Propertius, and Tibullus. Ovid, Catullus, and Propertius make us question if the puella they describe is their mistress or just a fantasy. What makes them a real person? What keeps them a fantasy?

Ovid, Catullus, and Propertius
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As noted above, their puellas have many similarities., including how their poets love them. Ovid's heart burns for Corrina. He makes it clear that she is taken by another, whom shall be called her beloved. Rather than love her from afar, he places himself at a dinner with Corinna and her beloved. He instructs her on how she should act with him. She is not to allow him to touch her, nor is she to touch him.. She is instructed to get him drink so that he will pass out and she will not have to be with him. As if visualizing how she should avoid him were not enough, Ovid goes as far as he can to get near her....to her door. Rather than accept that Corinna does not feel the same, he instructs her to "convincingly" tell him that she had "no fun" after spending the night with her beloved. This will suffice him. Ovid also talks of unrequited love in Echo and Narcissus. When Narcissus refuses to return Echo's love and affection, she literally wastes away. Ironically. Narcissus himself wastes away when he is not able to receive love from the one he has fallen in love…show more content…
As Catullus talks about Lesbia's beloved pet dying, we are led to believe that Lesbia is his girlfriend. He speaks in great detail about her relationship with her pet sparrow. Surely Lesbia is as least his girlfriend, if not his wife. We soon learn that Catullus is making a fool of himself. Though at some point is appears that Lesbia returned his love, it is clear now that she does not as she tells him no. He is left to prepare himself to be rigid against Lesbia. Propertius' heart burns for Cynthia. He leads us to believe that she returned his love at some time in which he was amongst those who are happy in love. Cynthia then makes it clear in a formal letter that she does not share his feelings of love.

Each poet, Ovid, Catullus, Propertius, and Tibullus, has a puella that they are in love, or lust with. Their puellas share similarities with each other. Some of them more than others. The similarity that they all share is that each puella is described as a mistress. Or are they a fantasy? One cannot help but envision the beauty these women bestow. Ovid talks of Corinna's hair tumbling down on each side of her neck. He also goes into detail to describe her perfect body to us. Propertius also talks about Cynthia's hair when he discusses forming curls with her loose hair. Is the visualization of hair enough to make these women
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