From the beginning, the four characters in the aftermath of a shipwreck do not know “the colour of the sky” but all of them know “the colours of the sea.” This opening strongly suggests the symbolic situations in which human beings are located in the universe. The sky personifies the mysterious, inconceivable cause of reality , which humans cannot understand, and the sea symbolizes the earthy, mundane phenomenon, which humans are supposed to perceive. The symbolic picture generated by the above conflict implies the overall relationship between the individual and nature. In fact, the daily life of human beings is at the mercy of the uncontrollable waves of the sea; while, at the same time, the essential part of reality remains unknown to feeble, helpless humans.
The human voyage into life is basically feeble, vulnerable, uncontrollable. Since the crew on a dangerous sea without hope are depicted as “the babes of the sea”, it can be inferred that we are likely to be ignorant strangers in the universe. In addition to the danger we face, we have to also overcome the new challenges of the waves in the daily life. These waves are “most wrongfully and barbarously abrupt and tall”, requiring “a new leap, and a leap.” Therefore, the incessant troubles arising from human conditions often bring about unpredictable crises as “shipwrecks are apropos of nothing.” The tiny “open boat”, which characters desperately cling to, signifies the weak, helpless, and vulnerable conditions of human life since it is deprived of other protection due to the shipwreck. The “open boat” also accentuates the “open suggestion of hopelessness” amid the wild waves of life. The crew of the boat perceive their precarious fate as “preposterous” and “absurd” so much so that they can feel the “tragic” aspect and “coldness of the water.” At this point, the question of why they are forced to be “dragged away” and to “nibble the sacred cheese of life” raises a meaningful issue over life itself. This pessimistic view of life reflects the helpless human condition as well as the limitation of human life.
In line with the feeble and vulnerable portrait of human beings, nature is described as dangerous and uncontrollable on the one hand; beautiful on the other. The tone of the waves is “thunderous and mighty” and the gulls are looked upon as “uncanny and sinister.
Understanding Catullus’s Poems
Understanding Catullus’s Poems
Many of Catullus’s poems expressed Catullus’s love for his beloved Lesbia. In the first poem he is relishing her kisses and declaring the eternity of their love. The three later poems show him sadder and he accurse Lesbia of unfaithfulness yet still confesses his love for her. Catullus’s Poems are universal in time and are relevant to any time period. The particular time period that I am focusing on is today’s time period and how his essays are relevant to the modern reader. The two particular poems that I am going to be focusing on is number five and number seventy-two. Both are very emotional and could be reflected on today’s society.
In poem number five; Catullus is expressing his love for Lesbia. He says that their love that they posses is internal and how he is so fond of her kisses. After reading this poem you get the idea that they kiss very often and their kissing is the symbol of their love. This is relevant to today’s society with young couples starting a relationship. Once the relationship starts to become intimate, then they couple start to kiss more often and devote their love to one another. Although in no place in the text does it say if they were in a relationship or even married, you could infer that they were very intimate with each other.
The second poem, number seventy-two, discussed some a very significant aspect that exists in today’s society, which is cheating. Catullus accuses Lesbia of cheating in he couldn’t believe that she is doing this to him. “ ‘How,’ you may ask, ‘can this be?’ Such actions as yours excite increased violence of love.” He accuses her of putting the relationship in jeopardy and losing his love for her. You can’t help but feel sorry for Catullus is this scenario. He devotes his undying love to Lesbia and she cheats on him. Unfortunately, this is rather popular in today’s society. After time progresses in the relationship, intimacy start to decrease and the partners start to search for other sexual partners. This is the case with Catullus and Lesbia and how Lesbia is cheating on him.
The last poem is poem number seventy-five. In this poem, Catullus recognizes the sins that Lesbia has committed but still says that he “can never cut this love.” Some individuals still love their partner after what they did.