Masters Thesis

Sappho of Lesbos: influences in English literature and art

The purpose of this thesis is two-fold – on the one hand translation and on the other analysis of Sappho’s influences and depictions in English art and literature. I will include own translations of selected fragments of Sappho of Lesbos taking into consideration previous translations, and including philological notes and explanations of my translation choices. In subsequent chapters, I will explore the influence of Sappho and her transmission into English literature from the Romantic to the Modern period. Chapter one will include my translations and illustrations of selected fragments from Sappho, chapter two will focus on the significance of the myth of Aphrodite and Adonis to her work, chapter three on the influence of Sappho on Edgar Allan Poe, chapter four is concerned with the relevance of Sappho’s aesthetic ideal to the works of Oscar Wilde, and chapter five will deal with Sappho’s influence on the post-colonial writer Derek Walcott, focusing on his epic/Sapphic poem Omeros.

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