Shakespeare's Schoolroom: Rhetoric, Discipline, Emotion

By Lynn Enterline | Go to book overview

Chapter 3
The Art of Loving Mastery
Venus, Adonis, and the Erotics of Early
Modern Pedagogy

Amavi, I have loved
Docui, I have taught
Legi, I have read
Audiui, I have heard

—Lesson in “Preterperfect tense singular,” Lily,
A Short Introduction of Grammar

It is declined with one article: as Hic Magister, a Maister, orels with
two at the moste: as
Hic & haec Parens, a Father or Mother.

—“An Introduction of the Eight Parts,” Lily,
A Short Introduction of Grammar

One of Shakespeare’s most controversial representations of desire, Venus and Adonis, bases its sweeping prophecy about the nature of “love”—“Perverse it shall be” (1157)—on the death of a beautiful boy not quite out of puberty.1 Immensely popular in its own time, the poem has proved troubling to modern readers, in part, because of the marked disparity in age between the two protagonists. As Adonis remarks while trying to evade Venus’s sexual aggression,

Measure my strangeness by my unripe years;
Before I know myself, seek not to know me,

-62-

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Shakespeare's Schoolroom: Rhetoric, Discipline, Emotion
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction - "Thou Art Translated" 1
  • Chapter 1 - Rhetoric and the Passions in Shakespeare’s Schoolroom 9
  • Chapter 2 - Imitate and Punish 33
  • Chapter 3 - The Art of Loving Mastery 62
  • Chapter 4 - The Cruelties of Character in the Taming of the Shrew 95
  • Chapter 5 - "What’s Hecuba to Him?" 120
  • Notes 153
  • Bibliogrdphy 183
  • Index 193
  • Acknowledgments 199
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