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date: 07 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter traces nearly every reference to women—real or imagined, literal or symbolic—that appears in Ben Jonson’s important collection of poems titled Underwood. It discusses in particular his references to the muses and other figures of classical myth, and it also discusses the ways in which his references to ‘real’ women often add to the vividness and effectiveness of the collection. Often, however, ‘real’ women and ‘real’ events are also treated in highly symbolic ways. The chapter ends by considering the larger issue of ‘gender’ in Underwood, including the possibility of homoerotic overtones.

Keywords: Women, gender, muse, goddess, symbol, Underwood, Charis, Venus, love, sex

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