Download PDF by Lee Fratantuono: A reading of Lucretius' De rerum natura

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By Lee Fratantuono

ISBN-10: 1498511546

ISBN-13: 9781498511544

ISBN-10: 1498511554

ISBN-13: 9781498511551

Lucretius’ philosophical epic De Rerum Natura (On the character of Things) is a long didactic and narrative get together of the universe and, specifically, the realm of nature and construction within which humanity unearths its home. This earliest surviving complete scale epic poem from historical Rome used to be of huge effect and value to the advance of the Latin epic culture, and maintains to problem and hang-out its readers to the current day. A analyzing of Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura deals a complete observation in this nice paintings of Roman poetry and philosophy. Lee Fratantuono unearths Lucretius to be a poet with deep and abiding curiosity within the nature of the Roman id because the little ones of either Venus (through Aeneas) and Mars (through Romulus); the results (both confident and damaging) of descent from the immortal powers of affection and warfare are explored in shiny epic narrative, because the poet progresses from his invocation to the mummy of the kids of Aeneas via to the burning funeral pyres of the plague at Athens. Lucretius’ epic bargains the potential of serenity and peaceable mirrored image at the mysteries of the character of the area, while it shatters any wish of immortality via its bleak imaginative and prescient of post mortem oblivion. And within the technique of defining what it skill either to be human and Roman, Lucretius deals a scary imaginative and prescient of the perils of over the top devotion either to the gods and our fellow males, a remark at the nature of pietas that may function a caution for Virgil in his later depiction of the Trojan Aeneas.

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Example text

259–261). 112 Death lurks in the meadow; the playful animal that is intoxicated with its mother’s milk is but the last stage in the progression of the cycle of life; the implicit message is one of the death that will eventually come to it, too, as one thing is brought into being by the aid of the destruction of another. Lucretius often ends a section with a pause that is marked by a dark note of more or less subtle reflection on ruin and loss. ). In one sense, this exposition relates to another recurring theme of the poet; some losses are sudden, and some forms of destruction dramatic and undeniably violent—but others are subtler, and evidence of more corrosive wasting and decay over time.

We may wonder why Lucretius begins his prayer with the relative quo (“by which the more”). Certainly there is the point that if Memmius is great, or even if Memmius is simply the recipient of the goddess’ good will that he should excel before all men, then the poet that is destined to lure him into the faithful acceptance of the tenets of Epicureanism would profit from being endowed with lepos. Memmius, too, introduces something of a discordant note into the epic; the poet now juxtaposes the world of the lovely goddess of nature and the beautiful image of spring with the Roman Republic of his own day—and, soon enough, with its trials and travails (both political and military).

263–264 quando alid ex alio reficit natura, nec ullam / rem gigni patitur nisi morte adiuta aliena. 109 CYCLES OF NATIVITY AND DEATH The description of the interdependence of the world of nature includes a celebrated example of the poet’s justly famous animal imagery. 110 Flocks and herds lounge about in the rich abundance of nature, and the milk flows from the swollen udders of the beasts. 111 The young animals frolic about, and they play delightfully and with abandon, their limbs weak as they acclimate themselves to their mothers’ milk—they are in fact drunk on the neat nourishment: .

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A reading of Lucretius' De rerum natura by Lee Fratantuono

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