Abstract

This article compares Milton’s and John Donne’s surprisingly convergent ideas on love and sex by examining how their respective lovers gaze at the stars and the divine plan(s) behind them. Both poets significantly re-sexualize the Platonic tradition spiritualized by Ficino and Anglicized by Sidney and Spenser, while conserving much of its essence. The human soul and human soulmates still descend from the heavens, light, and the love and beauty emanating from God’s chain of being, but with fully erotic needs and desires. Both poets also accept the new astronomy, yet Donne prefers love scenes that reinvent Ptolemy’s “perfect” concentric cosmos while Milton’s lovers inhabit a boundless universe.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1522-9270
Print ISSN
0039-3657
Pages
pp. 143-171
Launched on MUSE
2014-03-06
Open Access
No
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