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Egyptian Love Poems Essay

1241 words - 5 pages

Table of contents

1. Introduction 3
2. How they made sense of love 3
3. Girl, boy and society 4
4. 3 Themes of love prevalent in Love Songs 5
5. Conclusion 6
6. Work cited 7

1. Introduction

During the time of ancient Egypt's New Kingdom, love songs were recorded and later discovered by excavators. The importances of these songs are that they contradicted the perception which Egyptologists had of the ancient Egyptians. No longer were the ancient Egyptians viewed as being a dull society, focused on death and the afterlife, but rather a society with a love for living through loving love itself (Fowler 1994:xiv). Thus, in this essay, through analyzing the Ramesside ...view middle of the document...

Thus, what we can deduct from the love songs is that the ancient Egyptians understood and could make sense of what the concept love was and meant to themselves and their society.

3. Girl, boy and society

Now that is clear that the ancient Egyptians could understand what love was, the question begs as to what this understanding entailed.

When analyzing ancient Egyptian love songs, what I firstly noted was that the concept of love was not stereotyped in being predominantly a masculine or a feminine concept. Both men and woman expressed their emotions of both pain and joy throughout (Fowler 1994:30). However, some contrast does exist in a few songs in that girls are portrayed as being more assertive, more dominant and taken more initiative than boys (Fowler 1994:40). This is clear as boys are never portrayed in addressing their loved one in the second person, rather in the third person and also, does not initiate action but rather sits and waits for action to come his way (Fowler 1994:62). Thus, these love songs provide us with an insight into the manner which couples behaved, and were viewed by others when in love. This view and understanding of love I believe is a direct reflection of the ancient Egyptian society where woman were seen as being sexually untrustworthy and men the slave to this sexual nature of woman.

Furthermore, although it is clear that the concept of love was symbolized through the ultimate togetherness of lovers, being together was not always an easy task. The approval of family and society was in some cases an important factor, which is clear to note in the song called “the stroll”, where a mother prevents her daughter from being with a boy she loves (Fox 1985:52). What this illustrates is that love was not always the only ground upon which lovers could be together and also, that the ancient Egyptians viewed young love as being irrational and that one could wrongfully fall in love.

4. 3 Themes of love prevalent in Love Songs

Firstly, I found that love as being a challenge, was a clear theme which the authors of the ancient Egyptian love songs wished to convey. It is shown that love longs for commitment and also gives demands which need to be fulfilled (Fox: 1985:205). Perhaps this is the author’s manner of implying that being in love or staying in love is no easy task. Thus, in the songs, lovers are faced with various challenges which when accomplished, gives one the greatest pleasure of living, love. An example of this can be found in “The...

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