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Get Reading Shakespeare’s Poems in Early Modern England PDF

By Sasha Roberts (auth.)

ISBN-10: 0230286844

ISBN-13: 9780230286849

ISBN-10: 0333714725

ISBN-13: 9780333714720

ISBN-10: 134940960X

ISBN-13: 9781349409600

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The poem is explicit about the role reversal it enacts ± `Would thou wert as I am and I a man', laments Venus (370) ± but despite her attempts to dominate Adonis into submission, Venus' sexual desire is never satiated; even when Adonis is finally `mounted for the hot encounter . . He will not manage her', and instead Venus' sorry fate is `to clip Elizium and to lack her joy' (596±600). Thus Venus and Adonis offers the reader an intimate account of a woman's insatiable sexual appetite; of `what she did crave' (88).

How do we rethink women's role(s) as readers in early modern England? Reading the `bawdy geare' of Venus and Adonis While early modern commentators on Venus and Adonis treated the poem as a witty, pleasurable and bawdy piece of work, modern critics have read in it elaborate allegories and complex narratives of literary tradition, gender relations, psychology, culture and politics. I am 24 Reading Shakespeare's Poems in Early Modern England intrigued by this gap in early modern literary commentary and modern critical discourse.

The implication Cranley's narrative draws for women readers of Venus and Adonis is clear: read Shakespeare's poem at your peril. John Johnson's extraordinary The Academy of Love describing ye folly of younge men and ye fallacy of women (1641) poses as a piece of conduct literature, but where Brathwaite and Cranley exhort their female readers towards piety, Johnson is barely concerned with the spiritual health of his readers, spinning instead a teasing and witty tale of women's sexual proclivities.

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Reading Shakespeare’s Poems in Early Modern England by Sasha Roberts (auth.)


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