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.
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