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Literary Criticism English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh

Homoerotic Space

The Poetics of Loss in Renaissance Literature

by (author) Stephen Guy-Bray

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
May 2002
English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Renaissance
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2002
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2002
    List Price

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Sexual politics in the Renaissance dictated a strong opposition to any kind of homoerotic attachments, or discussion thereof, forcing Renaissance poets and playwrights to find other means of representing these connections. In this compelling and intriguing work, Stephen Guy-Bray argues that early modern authors used renditions of Theocritan and Virgilian pastoral, as well as epic poetry, for the exploration and the allusive presentation of homoerotic and homosocial themes.

Drawing on the poetry and plays by such authors as Castiglione, the Earl of Surrey, Milton, Spenser, Barnfield, William Browne, Shakespeare, and Beaumont and Fletcher, Guy-Bray investigates how some authors used these classical models to represent homoeroticism, while others found the inherent homoeroticism of these poems to be problematic. Discussing both content and form of Renaissance and Classical literature, Guy-Bray's work engages in an important and frequently heated debate about the history of homoeroticism as well as questions of literary history and the interpretation of texts.

About the author

Stephen Guy-Bray is a professor in the Department of English at the University of British Columbia.

Stephen Guy-Bray's profile page


  • Winner, Raymond Klibansky Prize, Canadian Foundation for the Humanities & Social Sciences

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