Sappho as an agent of change

Introduction

In the Greek history includes major contributions of change through art. Poetry made a major contribution to change. Among the poets who made change through poetry is Sappho. An examination of Sappho’s life as a poet shows her contribution to change. This essay will give a biography of Sappho and explain how and why she acted as an agent of change.

Biography

Sappho was the Greek poet who lived in Lesbos and wrote poems between 610-580 B. C. According to Lewis (1), the poems were published but they were later los. For this reason, her poems were obtained as quotes from other publications. The poems had been recorded around 300-200 B.C. in ten books. During her time, women would gather and share the poems they had written. Most of her poems’ center of attention was relationships of women.

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Thus, it is argued that Sappho was a proponent of homosexuality while others argue that it was in order in that era for women to express feeling for one another. She was from an aristocrat and is believed that she had a daughter. She was also married by a wealthy man. Although there lacks certainty, it is believed she died after throwing herself on a rock after losing a lover.

How and why Sappho the Greek poet is an agent of change.

Sappho is believed to have written the poems to her fellow women and possibly her daughter about relationships with other women. According to Lewis (1), Sappho’s love poems address women from Lesbos; an island where the women would meet. The name lesbian was coined with reference to the Island.

Sappho may be viewed as an agent of change due to her ideas on freedom of women. Her poems and ideas have made contributions towards legitimizing the female desires and glorified beauty and love among women. She lived in a society that was dominated by men and women had no place in the society. She therefore wanted freedom as a woman.

The Greek poet was able to share her views about the human rights concerning women during the meetings she had with the women in Lesbos Island. Other than her poetic literature, Sappho also shared with women the social skills and even religious views (Greeka.com 1).

Sappho advocated for education of women prior to getting married. She was a proponent since she had gathered a group of women to support the notion. She taught the young women her poems and even made bridal odes for them at the time of marriage. Besides, she was also a good writer of songs and hymns.

At the time men were allowed to travel long to get educated while information about women travelling to get educated is absent. It is not certain from her poems weather women too travelled. However, by teaching groups of girls her poems, she made change and played a part in the development of women’s right to education.

Sappho believed in change because she had witnessed the position of women in her society in her time. Roles were distributed according to gender as revealed by Williamson (1). A woman would only gain status after she gets married. Her duties included, among others, bearing children and domestic work. Sappho in her poems emphasized the beauty of women and their desires. She believed women had greater potential.

Greeka.com (1) indicates that Sappho is an agent of change because she insists on the recognition of women. In her poetry she recognizes the skills of the women and notes their efforts of maintaining beauty and peace. She notes that women only travelled long due to marriage and to gain status. What is more is that she was a mentor to women.

Lewis (1) mentions that the works of the Greek poet were abandoned and later segments of the poems have been found in other works. The lesbians have therefore based their arguments on the origin of their movement with the Greek poet.

Sappho concentrated much on personal and emotional aspects in a poem. However, she also contributed to changing religion. She composed devotional songs. Her poems also suggest that she was presiding over a religious group which sang the devotional songs. Moreover, the songs have been linked with a Greek festival. Her contributions to change went hand in hand with those of the other poets who wrote for religious and non religious purposes (Williamson 1).

Conclusion

Sappho is an agent of change and has contributed to the development of women rights. Her contributions to change are revealed in the poems as she glorifies the women. She pays attention to emotions and personal matters than politics and religion. She teaches young women her poems and shares social skills with them as she mentors them into marriage.

She is believed to have impacts on the freedom of women through her writing about women relationships and is believed to be a proponent of lesbianism. She also emphasizes the need to appreciate women and recognize their skills. She points out the marginalization of women in education as well as in other aspects of life. She is a mentor to the young women.

Works Cited

Greeka.com. Sappho the Greek poet, 2011. Web. 2 September, 2011

Lewis, Jone. Sappho of Lesbos, 2011. Web. 2 September, 2011.

Williamson, Sappho. Sappho’s Immortal Daughters, 2011. Web. 2 September, 2011.