Art of Love - Ovid Essay

Words: 1253
Pages: 6

The Art of Love
Framing for a Misogynist

The poetry of Ovid exemplified in The Art of Love is one of the only examples of the contemporary social behavior exhibited during the time of Rome. Ovid writes about social activities, proper style, women, and how to obtain them. Through Ovid’s perspective, there are three different ways to consider a woman. These three views include relating a woman to a game, a beautiful treasure, and as a means to assert social status. Comparatively, Andreas Capellanus writes in a way that makes women seem respected, worthy and as something to a man would willingly devote his life to. Both men have a clear fascination with women and their relationship to men. However, their distinct writing styles cause
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With this, Capellanus explains that a man “should do nothing disagreeable that might annoy her. And if inadvertently he should do something improper that offends, let him straightway confess with downcast face that he has done wrong” (2.1, 1). The mystery of Ovid is how he longs for women and may even understand them as much as any man ever can, but because of his surrounding influences during the late first century, he is caught with a conflicting view toward women. He pulls from what he has been taught about women, and part of this societal view is that women are no more than sex objects. The lens through which he looks at women is obscure. One way that Ovid sees women is as a way for men to assert and increase their own social status. One connection he makes is in showing a woman’s hunger for sexuality by saying, “the queen, desired this bull for her lover” (Art 1. 288-317). Women are not searching for the lonely small calf, but instead they desire the bull, the masculine man. Ovid is showing that women also desire sexual encounters and that, just like men, they are seeking the best, most dignified partner. This means that a man who gains the most exquisite beauty must himself be a fine specimen, and therefore, will also be recognized by his peers. Though some of Ovid’s statements do put women in a negative light, representing him as a misogynist, especially when in comparison to