Presenter Information

Michaela RandolphFollow

Document Type

Panel Presentation

Keywords

Catullus, sexuality, Rome

Biography

Michaela Randolph is a sophomore humanities and Latin major at Marshall University.

Major

Humanities (Classical Studies), Latin

Advisor for this project

Dr. Christina Franzen

Start Date

19-4-2019 3:30 PM

End Date

19-4-2019 4:45 PM

Abstract

Lesbia, a married woman and Catullus’ lover, is the muse of many poems in his collection. In a typical affair, the lover would have a distaste for the husband, but Catullus is no normal man. In poem 51, Catullus describes him in the type of way that Romans would use to describe a “good man,” placing him in the shoes of one who possesses virtue. But, there is also a sense of uneasiness with Catullus throughout the poem. Using words such as “videtur” and “aspexi” show that he has distanced himself from the events that are taking place between Lesbia and the man, whether that distance be emotional or physical; he even results to speaking to himself, showing that his intention is to stay hidden, like a voyeuristic individual who is watching a sexual act take place between a couple.

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Apr 19th, 3:30 PM Apr 19th, 4:45 PM

Virtue and Voyeurism: An Analysis of Catullus 51

Lesbia, a married woman and Catullus’ lover, is the muse of many poems in his collection. In a typical affair, the lover would have a distaste for the husband, but Catullus is no normal man. In poem 51, Catullus describes him in the type of way that Romans would use to describe a “good man,” placing him in the shoes of one who possesses virtue. But, there is also a sense of uneasiness with Catullus throughout the poem. Using words such as “videtur” and “aspexi” show that he has distanced himself from the events that are taking place between Lesbia and the man, whether that distance be emotional or physical; he even results to speaking to himself, showing that his intention is to stay hidden, like a voyeuristic individual who is watching a sexual act take place between a couple.