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Author Tinkle, Theresa Lynn, 1954-

Title Medieval Venuses and Cupids : sexuality, hermeneutics, and English poetry / Theresa Lynn Tinkle
Published Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, 1996
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource (294 pages)
Series Figurae
Figurae (Stanford, Calif.)
Contents Ch. 1. Beyond Binary Thinking: The Two, Three, or Ten Loves -- Ch. 2. Semiotic Nomads -- Ch. 3. Ambiguous Signs, Contingent Truths -- Ch. 4. From Latin to Vernacular: On Poetry and Other Sensual Pleasures -- Ch. 5. Myths of a Venereal Nature -- Ch. 6. Unnatural Acts -- Ch. 7. Remedia Amoris -- Ch. 8. Venus, Cupid, and English Poetry
Summary The book establishes the range of meanings bestowed on the deities through the later Middle Ages, and draws on feminist and cultural theories to offer new models for interpreting both academic Latin discourses and vernacular poetry. Since one of the deities' most prominent roles in later Middle English literature is that of sponsoring poetry, this study finally focuses on a Chaucerian poetics of Venus and Cupid
Medieval Venuses and Cupids analyzes the transformations of the love deities in later Middle English Chaucerian poetry, academic Latin discourses on classical myth (including astrology, natural philosophy, and commentaries on classical Roman literature), and French conventions that associate Venus and Cupid with Ovidian arts of love. Whereas existing studies of Venus and Cupid contend that they always and everywhere represent two loves (good and evil), the author argues that medieval discourses actually promulgate diverse, multiple, and often contradictory meanings for the deities. Venus is understood simultaneously as a planet, as a historical woman (a prostitute, a lustful woman, or a queen), and as a symbol of philosophical or spiritual truths (the dangers of cupidity, the joys of sexual pleasure, or the bonds of love that unify the cosmos). Cupid similarly is depicted as both male and female, blind and sighted, child and adult, playful and sinister, angelic and demonic
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Venus (Roman deity) -- In literature.
Cupid (Roman deity) in literature
English poetry -- Roman influences.
English poetry -- Middle English, 1100-1500 -- History and criticism.
Love in literature.
Myth in literature.
Poetry, Medieval -- Roman influences.
Sex in literature.
Genre/Form Criticism, interpretation, etc.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 0804725152
0804764808 (electronic bk)
9780804764803 (electronic bk)