Abstract

This essay challenges the critical consensus that Astrophil’s desire degrades and disempowers Stella. In taking that position, I argue, many critics have assumed that women, at once guardians of morality and victims of male lust, cannot safely desire sex outside of romance and marriage. Instead, I examine representations of promiscuous female desire in Astrophil and Stella in order to reassess Sidney’s place in both literary history and the history of sexuality. By dispensing with a Petrarchan ideal of female purity, I argue, Sidney’s sequence resists the normative gendered roles and identifications that the Elizabethan sonnet has been said to uphold.

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6547
Print ISSN
0013-8304
Pages
pp. 1-27
Launched on MUSE
2013-03-15
Open Access
N
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.