Venus And Adonis Essay Research Paper Venus — страница 2

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sexuality is turned to frightened reserve as she searches for Adonis. Her efforts to entice Adonis through her pastoral metaphors have failed, even after she evidences her love through the tangible elements of Nature. In the first half of Shakespeare’s poem Venus struggles to create a poetic Eden out of the substance of Adonis’ body and her own. She tells him that he is the `field’s chief flower’ (8), and urges him to join her on a bank of flowers, an enchanted circle from which serpents and other vermin are banned. She then proceeds to transform her own flesh into a metaphorical Paradise. Her cheeks become gardens (65), she assures him that `My beauty as the spring doth yearly grow’ (141), and offers herself to him as a protective enclosure where he can shelter from

the savage environment: `I’ll be a park, and thou shalt be my deer:/ Feed where thou wilt, on mountain or in dale’ (231-2). But, as the central stanzas of the poem warn us, `all is imaginary she doth prove’. The landscape of the poem only ever becomes Eden-like in the rhetoric of Venus. We mover further through the poem, her rhetoric loses its persuasiveness, and a very different landscape emerges Always present on the fringes of Venus’ imaginary Eden, is the possibility of danger and the threat of a wilderness outside of her beautiful primrose bank, and picturesque flowers. As this wilderness emerges in the second and into the third parts of the poem, the similarities to Eden are quickly destroyed by the realistic dangers they encounter. In the first section, Venus

compares Adonis’ breath to `heavenly moisture’, a dew like the one God used to water the plants before he invented rain (62-6). And as the surrounding climate of the area changes, so we follow the emotional and sexual changes within Venus and Adonis. But the alternating weather conditions generated by the lovers’ bodies grow steadily less moderate, passing from rain to parching heat and back again to rain in a bewildering flurry of changes. In the second section of the poem these changes become wholly violent, hurrying through the `wild waves’ of the night (819) towards the tempest signaled by the `red morn’ of Adonis’ open mouth (453-6). The storm breaks during Venus’ search for the him (`Like a stormy day, now wind, now rain, / Sighs dry her tears, wind makes them

wet again’ [965-6]), and her discovery of his body unleashes a climactic earthquake: `As when the wind imprison’d in the ground, / Struggling for passage, earth’s foundation shakes’ (1046-7). Venus’ final prophecy bequeaths the same turbulent climate to future societies, whose sexual alliances will `bud, and be blasted in a breathing while’ (1141). The final division of the poem contains only the final stanza (1189-1194) and concludes with Venus secluding herself from the outside world, but not without first giving final credit to Nature as a controlling and distinctively powerful force of both creation as well as destruction. By this, the boy that by her side lay kill’d Was melted like a vapour from her sight, And in his blood that on the ground lay spill’d, A

purple flower sprung up (1165-8). Here Nature attempts to replace what was lost, and gives reassurance to the suffering Venus by leaving her with a remembrance of Adonis in the form of a beautiful flower. Shakespeare’s themes of sexuality, life, death, and the overall pervading presence of Nature are strongly evinced throughout the text, and create for the reader a greater sense of the lack of control that exists between man and Nature, as well as man and his desires. The fate of Adonis, as well as such a wholly sexual creature such as Venus, and the understanding of love within the poem as primarily a sexual force, affirms the power that Shakespeare imbues Nature with in the fates of these two characters. Nature is both the sexual depiction of their desires as well as the

defining force that destroys them both.