Sappho's View of Love

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"Some say an army on horseback, some say on foot, and some say ships are the most beautiful things on this black earth, but I say it is whatever you love." Sappho obviously thought that beauty was something to be sought out, and she states here that love is the most beautiful thing of all. Sappho's love is about beauty, desire, and sacrifice. She speaks of epic loves, gods and goddesses, and her own feelings. Throughout her poetry Sappho continues a theme of love and beauty. She clearly deems love to be just as, if not more, important than courage in battle, or even one's responsibilities in other areas of life. From what we can see of her life through her poetry, Sappho's world is indeed based on love; love of friends, lovers, gods and goddesses, family, and the beauty of the world and the things in it.

Sappho loves love. One of her poems is a prayer to Aphrodite, asking the goddess to come and help her in her love life. She seems to be involved, in this poem, in a situation of unrequited love. "…release me from my agony, fulfill all that my heart desires…" Sappho here is begging Aphrodite to come to her aid, and not for the first time. "What is it this time? Why are you calling again?" We don't know the situation, this time or previous times, only that Sappho has called on Aphrodite before, perhaps many times, in pursuit of love. THIS, HER PRAYER POEM, IS THE FIRST PIECE OF EVIDENCE THAT PROVES HOW MUCH SAPPHO RELIES ON LOVE IN HER LIFE. SHE SHOWS US THAT LOVE IS SO IMPORTANT TO HER, THAT IT IS SOMETHING WORTH COMING TO THE GODS ABOUT.

In Poem 24, the lovers Hector and Andromache are "praised as gods" for their love, and Poem 42 is a wedding march. Helen of Troy is brought up as an example of someone who made huge sacrifices for her love by leaving her husband, and even her child. She left her entire family and everything she knew, actions which Sappho looks up to and praises. THIS IS MORE EVIDENCE THAT SAPPHO FINDS LOVE IMPORTANT, EVEN...
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