Wanton Eyes and Chaste Desires

Wanton Eyes and Chaste Desires : Female Sexuality in the Faerie Queene

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Cavanagh has managed to give an almost entirely new reading of ["The Faerie Queene"]; it is the first feminist rereading of the entire epic, and it reshapes the contours of the huge poem in often startling and remarkable ways. - Maureen Quilligan, University of Pennsylvania This investigation of sexual ideology in "The Faerie Queene" combines recent theoretical advances in feminist scholarship and research on Elizabethan accounts of women with a detailed examination of the representations of female sexuality. Cavanagh points to the poem's subtly pervasive emphasis on locating the roots of "virtue" in "manliness." Although the poem presents virtue as though it were genderless, Cavanagh finds substantial evidence to suggest that female characters are largely excluded from the manly realm of virtue, and that female virtue is honored much more in theory than in practice. A brilliant exploration of the gendered assumptions in the poem, her book makes a compelling and potentially controversial contribution to the study of a key work.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 232 pages
  • 156 x 235 x 25.4mm | 500g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 0253313678
  • 9780253313676

Table of contents

Acknowledgements Introduction: The Manliness of Virtue 1. Beauties Chace: Male Responses to Women in Faeryland 2. Nightmares of Desire 3. The Importance of Being Fairest: Kidnapping and Courtship in Faeryland 4. Fayre of face...though meane her lot: The Worth of Virtue 5. Like an Enraged Cow: Britomart among the Chased and the unchaste Notes Works Cited Indexshow more

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