As I was reading Ovidâ€™s The Erotic Poems, it never really occurred to me that such material was ever written about in such an early time period. My eyes were really opened after reading The Erotic Poems. I find it actually humorous to be reading about how to get a girl back in that century. I seemed to have had a better understanding of The Art of Love than I did of the Amores. The Art of Love had a tone that was â€œdo this and youâ€™ll get what you wantâ€, which I found to be quite exhilarating. It was kind of like reading the magazine, Cosmopolitan, only Ovid style. The opening lines of Book 1 really sucked me in. It was interesting to read â€œShould anyone here in Rome lack finesse at love-making let him / Try me- read my book and results are guaranteed!â€ (AA. I.1-3).
Now if that shouldnâ€™t be on the cover of a magazine, I donâ€™t know what should.
Ovid not only seems to give tips to guys about how to get girls, but I love how he gives women tips on how to keep the man. I think this is my favorite part because Ovid is very straightforward with what to do, and with what not to do. The focus of this paper will be to compare and contrast Ovidâ€™s tips he gives to both women and men.
In Book 1 of The Art of Love Ovid gives men beauty tips on how to look good for a woman. It is humorous to think that Ovid would give such advice to men. He starts by telling men what to do and not to do with them selves, in order to look good and appeal to a lady. â€œDonâ€™t torture your hair, though with curling irons: donâ€™t pumice / Your legs into smoothnessâ€ (AA. I.504-505). He goes on to tell men that they â€œShouldnâ€™t primp their good looksâ€ (AA. I.309). Ovid gives examples of men who seemed to do nothing out of the ordinary with their appearances, such as Hippolytus, and the women who still loved them. Ovidâ€™s advice that he gives to men next seems to be basic hygiene skills such as keeping clean, getting exercise, and making sure that your breath does not smell bad.