Possible Topics for Paper 2—Choose one and write 750-1000 words. 1) Develop a thesis. 2) Find evidence in the text and in your research to support your thesis and offer a conclusion detailing the importance and implications of your reading.
- Ovid writes quite a bit about being impotent, whether metaphorically when describing his inability to produce poetry, or literally when he is unable to have sex with Corinna. What does this impotence mean in relationship to the meaning of the poem, or even in the relationship between the poem and the society at large?
- Given the state of Roman affairs before and during Ovid’s career, what are the possible political meanings of his text?
- Stoicism was the primary philosophical tradition of Rome during Ovid’s career. It informed politics, jurisprudence and everyday society. Stoicism also has a particularly strict point of view in reference to sexuality and its ability to destabilize society. How could Ovid be addressing that tradition in his poem?
- What meaning could Ovid’s direct comparison between the power of his poetry and the power of the witch have? Is there a relationship between the feminine power of the witch and what he may (satirically) see as the feminizing power of poetry?