Ovid's love poems focussed on different aspects of romance. What makes the content of the poems special and unique for a modern reader?
Ovid's three collections on love are unique as they explore every aspect of romance and courtship in a humorous and personal manner. The poet describes individual love stories and gives tips on how to find your true love. He nevertheless does not shy away from describing morally dubious, from a modern perspective, practices. His style and choice of topic give the modern reader a perfect insight into the kind of personal relationship that was normal in ancient Rome. He masterfully contrasts the expected type of relationship from the real and shows the audience the consequences. Compared to modern Western societies, the consequences for infidelity or similar acts seem to have been lower.
Ovid's love poems describe many different aspects of love. Which aspects are foregrounded, and which aspects fall in the background?
With the exception of "Remedia Amoris", most of Ovid's love poems are targeted towards a single audience who has little to no experience in personal relationships. Courtship, first emotions and initial heartbreak play major roles within the humorous poems. However, while some poems give advice on how to keep a woman, they still are addressed at young men. The longevity of love and the emotions related to a long term relationship are topics that rarely are discussed.
The love poems of Ovid are found in three different poetic collections. Which topics are discussed in the individual sections?
The first collection of poems concerns various personal love and romance stories. The book is of special interest as it reinvents the elegy by putting the emphasis away from the poet to love itself. The second collection is a long instruction on how to find love. Its three parts are concerned with how to seduce women, how to keep a woman and how to be seductive for a man. The third collection is meant as an addition to the second one. It is an instruction on how to forget about lost love and how to move on. The three collections all deal with new love and a loose concept of fidelity.
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