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Sex before SexFiguring the Act in Early Modern England$
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James M. Bromley and Will Stockton

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780816680764

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816680764.001.0001

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Animal, Vegetable, Sexual: Metaphor in John Donne’s “Sappho to Philaenis” and Andrew Marvell’s “The Garden”

Animal, Vegetable, Sexual: Metaphor in John Donne’s “Sappho to Philaenis” and Andrew Marvell’s “The Garden”

Chapter:
(p.195) 7 Animal, Vegetable, Sexual: Metaphor in John Donne’s “Sappho to Philaenis” and Andrew Marvell’s “The Garden”
Source:
Sex before Sex
Author(s):

Stephen Guy-Bray

Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816680764.003.0008

This chapter examines the works of Thomas Browne, John Donne, and Andrew Marvell and their attempts to conceptualize human sexuality with reference to animal and plant reproduction. Browne, Donne, and Marvell established a troubling resemblance between human and non-human forms of sex, and expressed through interspecies desire a sense of human inadequacy opposite to non-human reproductive methods. In Browne’s ReligioMedici, he outlined examples of the perception that links human sexuality with vegetables, while Donne and Marvell considered the exploitation of the natural world as a source of metaphors for human sexuality in their works Sappho to Philaenis and The Garden.

Keywords:   Thomas Browne, John Donne, Andrew Marvell, ReligioMedici, Sappho to Philaenis, The Garden, human inadequacy, non-human reproductive methods

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