Discuss the Way Sexual Desire Is Represented by Two Renaissance Texts on This Module.

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Discuss the way sexual desire is represented by two Renaissance texts on this module. The Renaissance period appears to follow the traditional ideology of gender roles and sexuality for the female majority. A woman was a “daughter, wife, and then widow”. The woman’s role was to be governed by the male attitude and thus meaning to follow the role of the dependable housewife. Females were ruled usually by men who were ranked and viewed as the intelligent species, based solely on their income and class, never their morality. Both Edmund Spenser and Phillip Sidney however, depict the female persona as complex, sexual and desirable and appear to illuminate and generally "revise and complicate the traditional male view" of femininity at the time whilst enforcing their importance in society as a whole. Sidney’s Astrophil and Stella illustrates how women can be resisting and desired through the presentation of Stella who is virtuous and intelligent. Similarly, Spencer’s The Faerie Queene is in fact an allegory for Queen Elizabeth herself, and therefore is presenting the true height of female power and desirability. Sidney’s Stella is amplified as a character of realness which in turn, enforces her power. Stella is characterised to have an overwhelming amount of beauty, which contrasts with her unconventional character, “her skin a front of alabaster, her hair a gold roof, her lips a door of red porphir, her cheeks porches of red and white marble and her eyes touch, which ignites fires”. Even though her beauty is clearly characterised, Stella herself is not inscribed as the apparent unapproachable ideal that is so available in the conventional sonnet. She is a real, attainable woman, and not necessarily as her name suggests, a celestial star. As a result, this enforces and heightens her character's sexuality and power within the poem as therefore it gives Stella's
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