Friday, April 11, 2008

Catullus Journal #1

Use examples from Latin in poems 11 and 30, to show how Catullus treats relationships between men and women similarly and differently.


and almost happy passover... and -- well, you know what.


Annie A said...

Annie Alexandrian
Mipr. O’Donnell p.2
April 16, 2008

Catullus Journal #1

It is shown and evident in both poems 11 and 30 that Catullus has been scorned by both of his relationship with men and women. Although he may have a more so romantic relationship with women and an emotional (amorem) yet seemingly not romantic relationship with men; there is still a deep connection he has with both gender.

In poem 11, Catullus first starts off by completely degrading and belittling his “pauca pullae” (litte girl). He does this by saying he hopes she lives a “valeat vivat” (healthy life) and continues to be with her “trecentos” (300) adulterers, which is a great slam to her moral character by insinuating she is a married woman who has many lovers. He then goes into how she did not love any of them.

In poem 30, he speaks about Alfenius, who appears to have been a good friend of his. He speaks about how he shows no “miseret” (pity) for his friend and how he has doubted and betrayed him. He then refers to him as an unfaithful being of treacherous deed, and how he may forget the suffering he has caused them and how the Gods and faith will always remember. Catullus’s uses the same attack on both men and women: the attack on their character. He speaks of immoral actions they have done and how they are not to be trusted.

Although he greatly degrades both Alfenius and his little girl whom I presume is Lesbia ( a common victim of his scorn) it is obvious he had at one point felt some kind of love for them. He seems to really give his entire self into a relationship as seen in the line where he says that Lesbia will no longer have a lover who would fall at the edge of a meadow with flowers for her. He also speaks about in poem 30, how Alfenius ordered to entrust his spirit to him. It seems like he would do anything for the close relationdships he has with men and women, but I kind of feel he is contradicting himself because how could he love someone so much, and once the relationship ends he would completely degrades their characters? It makes no sense other than to say he is very emotional and full of feelings.

Anonymous said...

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cararobbins said...

Catullus, much like Cicero, uses his poetry and writing to attack and slander both men and women who have betrayed him. From my knowledge (which is rather minimal) it appears that Catullus doesn’t seem to like many people, but the people he does like – he LOVES. In both poems he brings down both the men and women, which leads me to think that perhaps he just doesn’t like people in general. The only difference is in how exactly he describes them.

In Poem 11, Catullus wants his friends to tell his lover “meae puellae”, but he says it is not a good one “non bona dicta.” He goes on to describe intense feelings of what sounds to me like jealousy. He sarcastically tells her to be happy with her paramours (trecentos – 300). He then goes on to tell of how she is with many men, none of whom she actually loves “nullum amans uere.” He wants her not to try and find his love again “nec meum respectet, ut ante, amorem,” because it was all her fault that he no longer loves her. In this poem we see his bitterness and sharp dislike for his girlfriend (perhaps lesbia?) whereas in the beginning when he is talking about his two male friends, he doesn’t say anything mean about them.

In Poem 30, however, Catullus takes a turn at bashing someone who once used to be his friend. Alfenus (perhaps the Varus from poems 10 and 22) was known to be one of Catullus’ good friends and must have done something rather large in order to upset him so much that he would write this scathing poem addressed to him. In this poem, Catullus talks about a friend who must have betrayed his trust “homines cuiue habeant fidem? “ (Which men are you going to trust?) Catullus is obviously bitter that he was trusting this guy, and now he doesn’t so he’s saying that this guy doesn’t have any friends – Nice one Catullus! Haha.

Basically, the moral of these poems is; don’t mess with Catullus, because he WILL write a nasty poem about you. Also, in response to the question, after a careful review of two poems, it becomes clear that Catullus treats both men and women mostly equal (he has no qualms in bashing both of them) however, mostly for women is calls them whores, and the men he says are not loyal. So that’s about it…