Conventional norm of the time by researching the history of sexuality of that time Essay Sample

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Concerning the history of sexuality, it is remarkable that given the renewed interests in ancient sexuality the value of the feminine body was regarded heavily. Most poetic work doesn’t comes from the classical age, but the so-called lyrical age and, therefore, cannot be measured against the substantial evidence concerning different times, principally the renaissance, classical and romantic ages. Historians, comical, philosophical and poetic writers dominated the struggle romantic discourse thus reflecting on the conventional norm. Schuller and Goldman believe that with time, contemporary writing had already been dominated with the history of sexuality viewed in terms of Repression Hypothesis, which not only guaranteed free expression but also lead to the development of philosophical ideas (107).

Besides, the arguments of repression were responsible in a steady proliferation of discourse concerning sex. It was therefore clear that Foucault aim was to show that sexuality could not be defined along a single axis that must be conceived as a set of effects dispersed across many institutions and discourses, whose power permits sexuality and permits it, be known. As evidenced from writings, sexuality has been constructed mainly in civil and canon law and in Christian pastoral teaching, which gained influence from the end of 14th century to the beginnings of 20th century. The incoming analysis will prove that sex cannot be understood as a mere means of reproduction but as a superior way to communicate between parties involved in a sexual act. The analysis will investigate three poems, courtesy of Sonnet 116, by William Shakespeare,

Sonnet 116 Shakespeare

            The poem is one of the earliest reflections of heterosexual marriage that talks about a largely spiritual relationship between different minds. The poem reflects on the confident but equivocal account of what love could be. Based on conventional norm, the cerebral love that the poem praises is defined by its stability and fixity. Shakespeare explores this sonnet in presenting love as victory of time. In fact, from the sonnet it is clear that time has the power over the rosy lips and cheeks, which apparently mere distraction for the true minds. Given the historic development at the time, Shakespeare uses language of marriage to bestow solemnity on the ritual of a married couple and the congregation that would impediment to the couple’s marriage. For instance, the words alter or alteration resonates in the poem, suggesting the altar which marriage is solemnized.

Arguably, confident of expression of the immutability of true love and how the poem opens up with questions and answers. The minds of what are being married, that is a young man and the speaker is heavily related to time. In context, the poem seems to accept that love for a beautiful man is coined more on the mind and not necessary the body. Ideally, Vernon believes that the emphasis on the marriage of minds and not bodies is theoretically available to same-sex couples (76-77). In fact, the poem attempts to the present a metaphor for faithful affection between men, where body is not considered. The question is why the speaker is being tempted to admit impediments that an activity that would be far more emotionally appropriate if the young man was being attached to someone else.

Convincingly, the poem is purportedly on the process of negative definition where a strange thing happens moreover when the couple retreats into a contingent zone of love. Additionally, the poem reveals a close connection between its eloquent idealization of love a considerate form of constancy and it is abiding suspicion about love’s volatile contingencies. Furthermore, the speaker celebrates a mutual erotic relationship that takes a great comfort in the confidence he feels about reciprocal love, one that is particularly contrasted from conventional norm of love. As such, the paired verbs that reflect the couple performance on a scale of mutual affection establish great happiness.

From the poem, it is clear that the reciprocal love is revolutionary since it establishes the baseline of mutual desire and knowledge between appearance and reality, where issues are divided to suit the interests of the both lovers. Given the arguments presented in Shakespeare poem, it is clear that the sexuality should be though as the only opposition between expression and repression. Sexuality confession offers discursive construction of sexuality confession with a number of effective features which profoundly individualizes the subject or patient speaks about themselves; it position of authority it assumes that the outcome of confession of the truth.

How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43) Elizabeth Barrett, 1806 – 1861

            The poem undertakes a tighter and circumscribed history of establishing set of convention. Being a classical time poem, the poem falls into four sections rather than two or quatrains followed by a concluding couplet thereby differing the Sonnet 116. Besides, there is a strong musical orientation from the poem. This impetus of the historical events presents personality and chance as not a deliberate method. Barrett presents that Elizabeth Barrett being an established and admired poet; it is possible to understand her thematic context in how she brings out love (1909). Given the age of love by then – Classical Time love that is, Barrett analyzes turmoil and love as crucial factors in sexuality.

Empowered by this approach, Barrett poem resembles Donne’s metaphysical poetry of portraying lovers’ soul as almost corporeal. From Sonnet 116, it is clear that Elizabeth Barrett expresses fear understandable in an invalid that Robert loves her only out of pity or a transitory attraction like a smile or a manner of speaking. Furthermore, there is a direct balance between love and passion. Arguably, such an approach sounds like a childhood catechism and the power of that familiar form for many readers.

The conventional norm being realized on Barrett poems are closely connected with the life of her age as a closer approximation of literature to social life during the classical times. To achieve more ideas, the poem integrates a powerful humanitarian concept with a strong inference to social and political concern that places deep sympathy with the oppressed and the downtrodden women in the society. Besides, when it comes to love, poets of her age attempted to integrate other factors, for instance, the nature of perceived relationships. In any case, the cry of the children appears as the widest compassion of simplicity and the deservedly taking high place propaganda.

Considering that Barrett love poems are not cutoff from reality, it is clear that her approach towards love is a sharp contrast to modern women who are frustrated from love. Love in this poem is seen as a revolutionary concept that unites men and women. From the freshening inspiration that love provides to its subject, there is a larger ease of super mastery to work and thus marriage life. In fact, there is a chief fruit of later year that presents Barrett with matures of her best work as a poet. As a result, the poem shows the influence of the poetry in becoming more and more imbued with the social purpose. Furthermore, Barrett poem reveals an unshakable faith in God. Barrett expresses love enables an intrinsic understanding of suffering as a way to achieve spiritual salvation. Salvation in this case is seen as a way of restoring hopes of love.

As a way of expressing conventional norm, Barrett technique is uncertain however, it enables him to free herself from the characteristic of faults of vagueness and unrestraint. From the poem, Barrett is able to express characteristics of vagueness and unrestraint. In any case, the elevation and ardor of her moods in the poem enable the outbalancing of negative consideration that she shares with the audience about her husband’s optimism to achieve social goals. However, this is spoken from a feminine vantage point.

Nevertheless, it is clear from Barrett’s point of view that the sexuality is something tempting that denotes human actions. From the poem, it is clear that sex represents one a chief way where couples express their commitment to each other. In fact, language of consummation isolates sex and marital activities since sex happens to be part of a wider marital pledge. The case and experience of much Christian marriage are extended over time, thus providing a higher form of marital commitment. Besides, marriage is sealed not on an act of sex but as an overall where couples negotiate responsibilities and share responsibilities.

Sexuality at this point of view is seen to touch critical human relationship as those based on responsibility to the society. From the poem, it is, therefore, clear that the entry into a dominant economy signifying her consignment to a passive character. Indeed, Altick is under the view that the exception of this convention are that a woman is drawing by their creators as working class only by an accident of birth (76). Barrett investigates the feminine and masculine character with an innate pure and inherent set of middle-class moral values, where victims are subjects to circumstances rather than active agents of sexual deviance. In summary, women are examined as those that are redeemable and permitted reestablish there self in a society. The conventional norm elides the underlying economic factors that define working-class lifestyles, seen, for example, in the link between the roles of a man in providing economically

Fair is My Love Edmund Spenser 1909-14

            From the poem, Edmund draws dominance that the function in the lived experience of the modern man beginning from different socio-economic and dialectical conjectures of love as experienced from the modern context. The poem encompasses an ascending development from a radical rejection of erotic love, as seen between man and woman. A close consideration of the poems’ as a metaphorical reviews the image of a loving relationship binding man and woman, where God’s the center position. Edmund’s poem is certainly a greater revolution, as compared to Shakespeare and Barrette poem. In the collection, there is a gradual move away from violent attacks on erotic love and revives on the allegorical formulation. In any case, the analysis of physical love in the first part of the poem features petitions, invocations and thankful song to God for having brought love.

To achieve the goals, there are complex dramatic dialogs that Edmund engages the audience community. The usage of specific tropes makes complex of the literary application. Notably, Davis et al. factor that Spenser usage of modulated conventional mis-agonies of the intellectual (494) traditional, with its gendered pairings of the male with form (pattern), and the female material. Hence, Edmund is in a position to examine critical accounts of desire, voyeurism, genre and poetic authority where sexual difference conceptions are heavily examined.

Besides, using structure love for a woman guides a maturing self. Nye and Thomas believe structure and sequence of the poem intrinsically connected to poetic matters, which prompts the development of the concept of the love (19). As a result, the implications for the readers’ receptions are generated on the readers by preferring the various reflections of love. As a result, Edmund attempts to present the inaccuracy of the manuscript from which the poem is reflected. It is, therefore, arguable that there are highly sensitive to those aspects of the 21st century mark and the early, conflict-ridden, tentative of fashioning of modern consciousness. From his works, Edmund mirrors the conscious purpose of the work to enact the larger cultural movement.

Additionally, the analysis on pleasure distinguishes between the inordinate or excessive sexual pleasure and temperate sexual pleasure. From the poem, Spenser does not deny the pleasure even when the extreme pleasure is suggested as fury, fire, and rage. From the poet’s own experience and the observation is difficult from the suspicious of the body, thus to imagine the entire pleasure generations to come. Ideally, when it comes to the body, Spenser attempts to present sexual fulfillment including full sanctions seem close to risk, breakdown, and a careful fashioned identity of the age.

Likewise, it is clear from the poem that all attempts to restrain these powers overcome for fruitful sexual union to occur. There are various factors being examined, these include, Shame fastness, silence, modesty, obedience and the womanhood. It is therefore clear that fashioning of men then depends upon the imposition of control over inescapably immoderate sexual impulses that, for the survival of an incoming race constantly recurs.


            From the above description, it is clear that the subject of sexuality is approached from different points where it seen as a revolutionary concept. While Shakespeare treated sexuality as a method that attracts different individuals, Barrett invites the role of sex as a way to appeal responsibility. Barrett’s approach is revolutionary based on the Shakespeare approach on sexuality. Similarly, Spenser treats sex in a much superior way where critical ideas of sex are conditioned. Revolutionary, sex is a bodily expression of the promise rather than the act that seals a marriage, and this establishes the proper context for sex. It is also arguable that sex create a context for action from which, it derives meaning. In simpler words, sexual behavior cannot be a mere conducted of reproduction but as a superior way of expressing commitment or responsibility towards the parties involved in sex. Sex facilitates communication.


Altick, Richard D. “Book Review:The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett, 1845-1846 Elvan Kintner, Robert Browning, Elizabeth Barrett Barrett.” Modern Philology: 76. Print.

Barrett, Elizabeth. “78. Fair Is My Love. Edmund Spenser. 1909-14. English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray. The Harvard Classics.” 78. Fair Is My Love. Edmund Spenser. 1909-14. English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray. The Harvard Classics. 5 May 1909. Web. 17 Dec. 2014. <>.

Davis, B. E. C., Alexander C. Judson, and Edmund Spenser. “The Works of Edmund Spenser. The Life of Edmund Spenser.” The Modern Language Review: 494. Print.

Graham, Ruth. “Sonnets from the Portuguese 43: How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways.” Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation. Web. 17 Dec. 2014. <>.

Nye, Naomi Shihab, and Peter Thomas. Sometimes I Pretend: A Poem. Santa Cruz, [Calif.: Peter and Donna Thomas, 2014. Print.

Schuller, Peter, and Michael Goldman. “Philosophy of Sexuality.” Teaching Philosophy (2012): 104-13. Print.

Shakespeare, William. “Shakespeare Sonnet 116 – Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds.” Shakespeare Sonnet 116 – Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds. Web. 17 Dec. 2014. <>.

Vernon, Jim. “Free Love: A Hegelian Defense of Same-Sex Marriage Rights.” The Southern Journal of Philosophy (2009): 69-89. Print.nt

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