The Recurring Grotesque in the Amores: A Bakhtinian Analysis Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Warhover, Emma
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Classics
  • This paper analyzes Amores 2.2-15 and 3.7-8 using Bakhtin’s concept of the bodily grotesque. The grotesque conflicts with elegy because the beloved’s body must be flawless, but elegy discusses bodily processes that are characteristic of the grotesque (e.g. sex). I argue that poems 2.12-15 illustrate the ways in which the elegiac mistress’ body may become grotesque, and the lengths to which the amator will go to conceal her grotesquerie. Poems 3.7 and 3.8 demonstrate that the grotesque can also afflict the male characters in elegy, and that grotesquerie represents elegiac failure for them as well as for the women. The grotesque in each set of poems reveals the conflict between the real body and the elegiac ideal of the body. Because of its subject matter, elegy is forced to interact with the grotesque, which in turn renders elegiac bodies ugly and inappropriate for the genre.
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  • In Copyright
  • Baragwanath, Emily
  • James, Sharon
  • O'Hara, James
  • Master of Arts
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2017

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