Between Men

Jonathan Goldberg

in The Oxford Handbook of the Elegy

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199228133
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

Between Men

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  • Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)
  • Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)



This article investigates the homosexual elegy in the Renaissance. It is primarily concerned with Sir Thomas Wyatt and Earl of Surrey, Spenser, and Mary Sidney. The homoerotics of Thomas Carew's elegy for Dr. John Donne represents one possible way in which literary history and the restitution of loss that is the work of mourning gets figured in the poems. For a contrasting instance, the article turns to Ben Jonson's ‘To the Memory of My Beloved, the Author Mr William Shakespeare: And What he Hath Left Us’. Daniel Juan Gil reminds the consideration that Surrey's poetic stance is a consequential one, not simply to be equated with modernity and with heterosexuality. Furthermore, the understanding on Astrophel's place in the poem and its relationship to heteroerotic representations is provided. It then describes John Milton's Lycidas and the ‘Epitaphium Damonis’, arguably the most significant examples of elegy produced in the early modern period.

Keywords: homosexual elegy; Renaissance; mourning; literary history; Sir Thomas Wyatt; Earl of Surrey; Spenser; Mary Sidney; Daniel Juan Gil; John Milton

Article.  11262 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (1500 to 1800) ; Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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