The Love of Lesbos
Poetry is a form feelings, thoughts, and opinions. However, many times in writing a poem, the poet reveals much more than just his or her emotions. Society's beliefs and personalities are often portrayed. The poem "He Is More Than A Hero" by Sappho shows that Ancient Greek culture valued of love.
The Greek society regarded love as an important, vivarent emotion. "He Is More Than A Hero" accurately depicts the high amount of respect Greek people displayed for feelings of love.
The speaker in the poem loved so much, she held her love's mate in the highest respect. He was godlike to her. "He is a god in my eyes-the man who is allowed to sit beside you-." The speaker feels even a bit of jealousy that he is with her love, and she is not. She feels envious of the fact that he can speak and laugh with her love, and she can't. "-he who listens intimately to the sweet murmur of your voice, the enticing laughter that makes my own heart beat fast. If I meet you suddenly, I can't speak- my tongue is broken." She wishes that she had the same relationship with her love that he has.
The Greeks believed that love was so strong of an emotional feeling that it could have physical effects. In the poem, the speaker becomes ill from loving so much. She is hurt inside because she is not with her love, and the emotional pain transforms to physical effects. "I drip with sweat; trembling shakes my body and I turn paler than dry grass. At such times death isn't far from me." The speaker goes so far as to consider dying because of the emotional pain she is feeling inside. She gets physically sick from hurting so much, and considers death the only escape.
"He Is More Than A Hero" gives readers a brief view of Ancient Greece's views on love. From the poem, it is evident that Greek culture valued love to the point of dying for it. It was a serious issue that wasn't taken light at heart. It caused real emotional and often times physical harm. From the insights the poet gives, it's clear Greek people held love high in society.
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