Online Literary Criticism Collection
Sites about Venus and Adonis
Critical sites about Venus and Adonis
- Narrative and the Forms of Desire in Venus and Adonis
- “Recent articles by Catherine Belsey, Richard Halpern, and James Schiffer have shiftedthe critical focus of Shakespeare’s Venus and Adonis from questions of what thepoem means, to how it means, from its moral allegory to its erotic and literary effects.Although these recent readings have deepened our understanding of how the poem’prompts in the reader a desire for action it fails to gratify’ (Belsey), I do not thinkadequate attention has been paid to the rhetorical and intertextual elements that giverise to the reader’s experience of “frustration.” This paper aims, then, to demonstratethat the poem’s frustrating effects are largely a product of its rhetorical design, thefact that a substantial portion of the narrative’s comic-tragic trajectory is constructedthrough patterns of opposition, resolution, and subsequent disunion. Through a closeexamination of the poem’s imagery, gender reversals, rhetoric, and its variations onOvidian myth, I demonstrate that Shakespeare’s poem undermines a reader’sexpectation for closure, choosing instead to tease the reader’s desire for resolution bysustaining, rather than dissolving, the oppositions upon which it is constructed.”
- Contains: Content Analysis,
- Author: Gary Kuchar
- From: Early Modern Literary Studies 5.2 (September, 1999): 4.1-24
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Last Updated Apr 29, 2013