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Azaria Panni 1/26 Catullus 3 Long Essay Catullus frequently employs the stylistic device of elision in his poetry.

In Catullus 3, there are nine elisions in the 18 line poem. Here, the poet addresses his lover Lesbias loss, the darling sparrow has finally died (passer mortuus estdeliciae the sparrow is dead, sparrow, sweet-heart 4-5). When verbally read in meter, the poem sounds much different than if it were being looked over. The meter and elisions point out potent feelings and emphasize important actions. Elision is utilized to express the emotions of the puella in grief, as well as Catulluss own grief about his inability to help her. The first instance of elision ties together the mourning of lovers (Lugete, o Veneres Cupidinesque Mourn, O Venuses and Cupids 1). By removing the short e sound on the end of lugete and replacing it with a long o, the concept of mourning is elongated. The elided phrase looks like lugeto. This passer holds the number one position in the heart of the puella, her sorrow is deep and may never go away. Therefore, the word describing her mourning is the first of the poem and drawn out for three long syllables. The puellas nostalgia is displayed as he talks about the strength of her love for the passer (quem plus illa oculis suis amabat whom she was loving more than her own eyes 5). In this elision, illa and oculis are combined to look like illoculis. The elided vowel ties together the puella with her eyes and makes them one, while removing the emphasis of the eyes as a necessary part of the body for the puella. The intimate love between the two is put into perspective with line 7 (ipsam tam bene quam puella matrem (norat) whom she knew as well as girl would know her mother). The additive of effect of the elisions and the prior statement gives the impression of the bird existing as a part of the girls being.

Lines 6-10 revolve around the puellas reminiscences about the passer. The first part of this section revives a deep sentimental feeling, the second part deals with more physical memories. To illustrate the puella and passer playing, Catullus uses elision (moduc modilluc) and onomatopoeia (pipiabat was chirping). In this circumstance, elision creates the sound of the bird hopping around in the puellas lap (circumsiliens modo huc modo illuc jumping around now here now there 9). Although this elision serves a lighter purpose than others, Catullus creates a dynamic relationship between the passer and puella by displaying many aspects of their relationship. Catullus last usage of elision* is, perhaps, the most powerful. The poet has transitioned to open contempt towards the shadows of death, who commit evil acts (quae omnia bella devoratis you who destroys all that is beautiful 14). Here, there is no more nostalgia in the lovestruck poet, but angry loathing. The poet goes from cursing the wicked darkness (male sit, male tenebrae 13) to choking up with frustration over his inability to help the weeping girl with swollen, red eyes (puellae flendo turgiduli rubent ocelli). The dipthong in quae is completely taken away, as the new word looks like quomnia. In meter, the first syllable sounds as if the poet can barely utter his distress at Orcis actions. Quom is a sound that requires the whole jaw to move, and while the poet attempts to stop choking over his passion the short syllables of ni and a follow, as if he is gasping for breath. The last elision culminates the poets outpouring of emotions, as he finally loses self control. Without the elisions the poem, Catullus 3, does not have the same powerful emotions. While the passion and tenderness still exist due to other rhetorical devices and images, the reader cannot hear the change in tone. The elisions function by emphasizing important words or

connecting similar concepts. Important elisions in Catullus 3 echo the wild fury of Catullus (quo omnia) as well as the moving heartaches of the puella (legete o).

* (o factum male! O miselle passer! 16. Male! O could be elided, but in class we said that the two words would stay separate. In order for hendecasyllabic meter to work and have 11 syllables there would be no elision.)