By Cora Fox (auth.)
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Additional info for Ovid and the Politics of Emotion in Elizabethan England
The entire cult surrounding her as Petrarchan mistress is only the most obvious evidence of this utilization of her perceived femininity. She also, as Cohen points out, routinely exploited her supposedly emotive and essential feminine self to excuse unpopular political decisions, such as when she attributed her delay in executing Mary Queen of Scots to her womanly predilection for mercy. These maneuvers must have left it difficult to say whether she was inwardly, and possibly “truly,” more male or female.
He first recites these lines: Sing you, plaie you; but sing and play my truth; This tree my lute, these sighes my notes of ruth: The lawfull leafe for ever shall bee greene, And Chastety shall be Apolloes Queene. 24 He admits to the failure of his attempts to possess her. Such an apology may well refer to some slight Lord Chandos may have made to the queen’s person at court, but it could just as easily be a more general celebration of Elizabeth’s transcendence of the narrative of masculine desire.
Introduction 23 Golding’s reference to the Hippolytus tale again draws on the tale’s moralizations and emphasizes the book’s almost medicinal use as an aid to reason. By setting the chariot of Hippolytus in contrast to the chariot of the well-governed Neoplatonic soul, however, Golding is slyly acknowledging the riskiness of the book itself, which provides the dramatic and violent image used in his example. By suggesting that every man who reads the book should not become a Hippolytus, he is overtly creating the work as the source of sinful emotional behavior, but this is a particularly ironic use of the tale, since in Ovid’s telling Hippolytus is innocent, the victim of his mother’s incestuous desires.
Ovid and the Politics of Emotion in Elizabethan England by Cora Fox (auth.)