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Figuring Sex between Men from Shakespeare to Rochester$
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Paul Hammond

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780198186922

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198186922.001.0001

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(p.255) Conclusion
Figuring Sex between Men from Shakespeare to Rochester

Hammond Paul

Oxford University Press

This chapter summarizes the discussions in the preceding chapters. This book looked closely at the detail of literary texts, at the implications of specific images, semantic fields, and literary allusions of sex between men in the 17th century. Men who desire other men are linked with shepherds from classical, pastoral, or with various mythological figures — Adonis, Apollo, Ganymede, Narcissus — each of whom exemplifies a subtly different kind of desire or role. Definition and indefinition map out the potential spaces for homosexual desire, and for its punishment. There is no unitary discourse either of homoeroticism or of sodomy in this period. Instead, there are a series of discontinuous micro-discourses which formed around particular texts or historical individuals.

Keywords:   homosexual men, sexual relationships, homosexual desire

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