Essay Sappho Of Lesbos By Sappho

1241 Words Jan 27th, 2015 null Page
Desire, passion, and sensuality are among the richest of human emotions, having the ability to evoke a wide range sensations and emotional responses. Sappho of Lesbos captures well the intensity and variety of sexual desire in her lyric poems, demonstrating the many ways in which it can alter the human psyche. In two specific lyrics, “He seems to me equal to gods” and “I simply want to be dead,” Sappho describes the emotions evoked by desire with appealing imagery and impassioned locution, which may, upon first inspection, seem to suggest they always remain similar. However, closer inspection reveals this similarity in style and subject does not extend to the manner in which the desire affects the writer’s emotions, instead evincing how it inspires distinct reactions in divergent situations. That is to say, despite her use of similar literary devices in doing so, Sappho does not represent the emotions associated with sexual desire in any single way. Instead she varies her depiction greatly based upon the particular circumstances of a given situation.
In both lyrics, Sappho uses sensual and powerful imagery to describe her sexual desire and the effects it exerts on her emotions. For instance, in “I simply want to be dead” she tells of how her lover “with sweet oil / costly/ …anointed [her]self” (18-20) and also how “on a soft bed / delicate / [she] would let loose [her] longing” (21-23), in both cases using vivid, physically suggestive depictions to detail a mutually…

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