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March 22 , 2009

Ovid and His Love Poetry


Ovid devoted about half of his poetic career to the production of several collections of amatory verse, all composed in elegiac couplets. Indeed, his irrepressible interest in love, sex and elegiac poetry is one of the defining features of his entire output. Here Rebecca Armstrong offers a thematic examination of some important aspects of the Amores, Ars Amatoria and Remedia Amoris. Starting from an investigation of the narrator's self-creation and presentation of other characters within his amatory verse, she assesses the importance of mythical and contemporary reference, as well as the influence of the erotic on Ovid's later works. By looking at the Ars and Remedia alongside the Amores, the continuities and contradictions in the poet's elegiac outlook are revealed, and a complex picture is formed of the Ovidian world of love. Ovid's erotic works present the reader with a glimpse inside the minds of both poets and lovers, mediated through eyes which are frequently inclined to comedy and even cynicism, but always sharp, perceptive and above all fascinated by human behaviour.

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