Discussion Topics

(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

In what way was Catullus a traditional poet? In what way was he an innovator?

What was Catullus’s attitude toward traditional poetic subjects, such as war and military conquest?

Why does Catullus value physical love so highly?

Judging by all of Catullus’s poems, is physical pleasure the only interest a woman holds for him?

In Catullus’s poems about Lesbia, does he appear to dominate the woman he loves?

Catullus’s poems about Lesbia swing between emotional extremes, from love to misery to hate. Does he ever achieve emotional balance toward her?

The poet spent most of his adult life in Rome. What was his attitude toward the countryside?