Mary Wroth Love What Art Thou Analysis

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Based on the fact that lesbian activity was endemic in British society, from the sleeping arrangements, to night-time invitations being a way for mistresses and ladies to show favor in households and at court , along with the fact that Mary Wroth was the better half of a profoundly unhappy marriage from a young age (Lewalski, 245), it is fairly easy to assume that she participated in, (or at the very least knew about) lesbian activity at some point, to some degree. We know she read Faerie Queen, Arcadia (her own uncle wrote it and homages to him are written all over her work), and watched or read some of Shakespeare’s plays, because she had an excellent education financed by her parents and interacted with her aunt and uncle on a regular basis (Lewalski, 245). This, combined with certain instances and relationships in Urania, seems to suggest that it’s highly improbable she was…show more content…
Further, she describes being “caught” in love, which is how the Petrarchan lover is characterized as operating upon the sonneteer in old love poetry (Wroth, “Love what art thou,” lines 1-5). Going onward, the trend continues; in lines 6-10, she describes love as “light,” and “fair,” which initially seem to be positive traits (still distinctly feminine), but describes love as capriciously flicking between hot and cold in a manner that is analogous to the inconstancy of the Petrarchan mistress, and common conceptualizations of femininity at the time. The next stanza continues the trend of love as inconstant while also making an oblique mention to Eve (Wroth, lines 16-20). The penultimate stanza seems to reflect the most blatant gendering (emphasis
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