She extends her dictum with the example of the mythical figure of Helen of Troyrenowned in antiquity as the most beautiful woman in the world.
See Article History Alternative Title: Psappho Sappho, also spelled in the Aeolic dialect spoken by the poet Psappho, born c. She ranks with Archilochus and Alcaeusamong Greek poets, for her ability to impress readers with a lively sense of her personality.
Her language contains elements from Aeolic vernacular speech and Aeolic poetic tradition, with traces of epic vocabulary familiar to readers of Homer. Her phrasing is concise, direct, and picturesque. She has the ability to stand aloof and judge critically her own ecstasies and grief, and her emotions lose nothing of their force by being recollected in tranquillity.
Legends about Sappho abound, many having been repeated for centuries. She is said, for example, to have been married to Cercylas, a wealthy man from the island of Andros. But many scholars challenge this claim, finding evidence in the Greek words of the bawdry of later Comic poets.
Most modern critics also consider it legend that Sappho leaped from the Leucadian rock to certain death in the sea because of her unrequited love of Phaon, a younger man and a sailor. She had at least two brothers, Larichus and Charaxus, and may have had a third. A fragment from Sappho that is dedicated to Charaxus has survived.
The tradition that she fled the island or was banished and went to Sicily may be true, but she lived most of her life in her hometown of Mytilene on Lesbos. Her work contains only a few apparent allusions to the political disturbances of the time, which are so frequently reflected in the verse of her contemporary Alcaeus.
Sappho herself attacks in her poems other thiasoi directed by other women. The goal of the Sapphic thiasos is the education of young women, especially for marriage. Sappho is the intimate and servant of the goddess and her intermediary with the girls.
In the ode to Aphrodite, the poet invokes the goddess to appear, as she has in the past, and to be her ally in persuading a girl she desires to love her. In the thiasos the girls were educated and initiated into grace and elegance for seduction and love.
Singing, dancing, and poetry played a central role in this educational process and other cultural occasions. As was true for other female communitiesincluding the Spartan, and for the corresponding masculine institutions, the practice of homoeroticism within the thiasos played a role in the context of initiation and education.
There is a personal poetic dimension, which is also collective because all the girls of the group recognize themselves in it. It is not known how her poems were published and circulated in her own lifetime and for the following three or four centuries. In the era of Alexandrian scholarship 3rd and 2nd centuries bcewhat survived of her work was collected and published in a standard edition of nine books of lyrical verse, divided according to metre.
This edition did not endure beyond the early Middle Ages. By the 8th or 9th century ce Sappho was represented only by quotations in other authors.
Only the ode to Aphrodite, 28 lines long, is complete.Still, given Sappho’s dazzling reputation, the temptation to reconstruct what her lyrics may have sounded like in performance has proved difficult for classicists to resist.
Topics: Love, Sappho, Homosexuality Pages: 3 ( words) Published: December 8, Sappho was a one of the best-known female Greek lyrists of all time. She was an aristocrat who married a rich merchant and had one daughter, Cleis.
Sappho Critical Essays. Homework Help. Analysis The themes and topics of the poems penned by the ancient Greek poetess Sappho mainly focused on her personal issues, women, and love.
Critical Analysis: “The Virgin,” by Sappho Bearing a child is the biggest responsibility that will happen in life. Providing time and protection of the child is a major part. Sappho, also spelled (in the Aeolic dialect spoken by the poet) Psappho, (born c.
, Lesbos [Greece]—died c. bce), Greek lyric poet greatly admired in all ages for the beauty of her writing style. To conclude, both Furley and Page made a great contribution to the secondary literature on Sappho 31, but Page’s interpretation seems to be too outdated to be relevant anymore.
Furley’s interpretation appears to be a solid one with its theoretical framework.