Comparison and Contrast of Sappho’s Poems with Egyptian Love Poems The ideas of love in the Egyptian love poems are almost similar to Sappho’s idea of love, but there is a difference in the way they approach it. In the Egyptian love poem, love is portrayed more erotic and passionate and the reader sees things from both the male and female’s point of view while in Sappho’s poetry, love is more romantic and passionate and talks more about the deeper feelings of the characters. Egyptian love poems idea of love is more about every form of love, whereas love for Sappho is based purely more on an emotional view of love.
Each Egyptian love poem and Sappho’s love poems express a similar theme but their method and imagery is quite different. The Egyptian love poems are generally lighter while Sappho’s poems are more serious. The Egyptian poem “I passed close by his house” contains the lines,” How joyfully does my heart rejoice, my beloved, since I first saw you... My heart leaps up to go forth that I may gaze on my beloved “(p.80 lines11-12, 22-23). This passage is an explanation of the internal feelings of the speaker. This, compared to Sappho’s illustrates a stark difference on a similar subject, from the Poem 31(He seems to me equal to gods that man),”…no speaking is left in me no: tongue breaks and thin fire is racing under skin and in eyes no sight and drumming fills ears and cold sweat hold me and shaking grips me all, greener than grass I am and dead- or almost I seem to me (p.639 lines 7-18) These lines by Sappho give the impression almost of pain, speechless, the thin fire that racing under skin, the blindness, the deafness from drumming. This is quite an image of being struck forcefully by the emotion of love. Compared to the Egyptian love poems which invokes a rejoicing heart and the impulse to leap up invokes quite a different image.
Sappho considers married life to be inadequate when compared to life with the women she had grown up with. The pressure to...
Cited: Puchner, Martin, et al. The Norton Anthology Of World Literature, 3d edition. New York, NY: W.W.Norton & Company, 2012. Print.
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