Mapping Male Sexuality: Nineteenth-Century England

By Jay Losey; William D. Brewer | Go to book overview

Writing Between Life and Death:
Postmetaphysics and the Psychosexual
Dynamics of Elegy in Shelley’s Adonais

FREDERICK GREENE

PERCY SHELLEY`S ADONAIS (l821), AS BOTH ARTWORK AND HISTORIcal document, may be profitably examined by those interested in understanding the social complex of masculine subjectivity and its component sexuality in early nineteenth-century England. But this exquisitely accomplished pastoral elegy is not necessarily representative of the cultural experience and norms of masculine subjectivity during the period in which it was written. Because of its idiosyncrasy and particularity, it instructively testifies to reconfigurations and contestations of masculinity occurring contemporaneously, as well as to the concerns and cultural anxieties framing such phenomena. This essay is, among other things, a demonstration of that thesis.1

In methodology, I proceed along queer theoretical lines for a variety of reasons. Preeminent among these is my belief that the pastoral elegy is a queer kind; a hybrid, syncretic form, the pastoral elegy anticipates queer theoretical analyses through its own deconstructive dynamics, allegorical plurality, and (often subversive) critical capacity and tradition. Moreover, the homoeroticism of the elegy tradition (latent or otherwise) and my focus on the experience/representation of masculine sexuality encourage such an approach. Finally, I am influenced by the poem itself: in Adonais, the widespread characterization of Shelley as a poetical, philosophical, and political radical suggests that the choice of pastoral for Keats’s eulogy serves a purpose other than the traditional obsequy. The conventional form of the pastoral elegy affords Shelley—a writer intimate with its history and critical capability—the ideal venue for articulating a new theory of language, revising Platonic metaphysics, and reanimating a model of masculinity and same-sex relations that was increasingly under attack.

-123-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Mapping Male Sexuality: Nineteenth-Century England
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 376

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.