Though ostensibly concerning itself with the marriage of Peleus and the sea-nymph Thetis (parents of the famed Greek hero Achilles), a sizeable portion of the poem's lines are devoted to the desertion of Ariadne by the legendary Theseus. Although the poem implies that Theseus and Ariadne were in love, in reality the text never explicitly states that Theseus even looked at Ariadne. Told through ecphrasis, or the depiction of events on inanimate objects, the bulk of the poem details Ariadne's agonized solace. Her impassioned vituperations and eventual discovery by the wine-god Bacchus are some of the included plot events.
The meter of the poem is dactylic hexameter, the meter of epic poetry, such as Homer's Iliad and Odyssey and Virgil's Aeneid.
Read more about Catullus 64: Bibliography
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“All think what other people think;
All know the man their neighbor knows.
Lord, what would they say
Did their Catullus walk that way?”
—William Butler Yeats (18651939)