The dedicatory poem Aemilia Lanyer wrote for Queen Anne invites the reader to see the verses as a Eucharistic mirror. Despite the volume of critical literature on Salve Deus, Lanyer’s uses of sight in the definition of feminine cognition and religious devotion have been ignored. In this article I place Lanyer’s use of scopic metaphors within the context of early seventeenth century Protestant idioms of devotion and sight — I thus argue that the aim of Lanyer’s work was not only to rewrite Christ’s passion or the Original Sin, nor merely to make bid for patronage — it was a femnine re-conception of seeing, reading, and believing which clashed with contemporary ideas of vision and cognition. What Lanyer was doing in her poems was to reconceive both her role as poet and that of the reader’s as the two sides of an optic and Eucharistic encounter.


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pp. 1-15
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