Chapter

Flowers and Boars: Surmounting Sexual Binarism in Spenser's Garden of Adonis

Judith H. Anderson

in Reading the Allegorical Intertext

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print May 2008 | ISBN: 9780823228478
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823241125 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823228478.003.0016
Flowers and Boars: Surmounting Sexual Binarism in Spenser's Garden of Adonis

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The use of mons veneris and mons pubis by Spenser makes the Garden Mount ambiguously sexed because it has the features that could be related to either sex. The mons pubis stanza also suggests the boar, a figure that can come in both sexes and in both genders in Spenser's third book. The boarish attributes may be explicitly excluded in the first stanza describing the Mount, but their mention is actually in some sense included and thus contained in both senses of the word-concept throughout Spenser's account of the Garden Mount. Spenser uses words relating to sweetness and gentleness, often associated with buds and flowers, to portray an image of a female figure, although these words are not exclusively feminine in the context of sex.

Keywords: sex; Garden Mount; Spenser; genders; ambiguous; boar; flowers; mons pubis; mons veneris

Chapter.  4504 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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