Sex in literature

The role and importance of sex in Shakespeare's plays and poems. While the book is ostensibly about sex in general, it soon turns into rumination on the homosexual and homoerotic content of the bard's sonnets and plays. The sonnets, on the other hand, are hard to dismiss as other than the expression of a man in love with a beautiful youth and probably in lust with him, as well. Thus topics on sex are very well handled by a writer like Shakespeare.


Then there are writers like T.S.Eliot who are modern and have dealt with topics like sex in their writings and poems from different perspectives. Unsuccessful male, female relationships are prevalent throughout T.S. Eliot's poem, "The Waste Land." Eliot relies on literary contrasts to illustrate the specific values of meaningful, effectual ceremonies throughout this poem. Eliot relies on literary contrasts to illustrate the specific values of meaningful, effectual rituals of primitive society in contrast to the meaningless, broken, sham rituals of the modern day. These contrasts serve to show how ceremonies can be broken when vital components are missing, or they are overloaded with too many. A major ceremony in 'The Waste Land' is that of sex. The ceremony of sex is broken, however, because it is missing components of love and consent. An example of this appears in section II, lines 99-100, 'The change of Philomel, by the barbarous king/ So rudely forced;' this is referring to the rape of Philomel by King Tereus of Thrace. The forcing of sex on an unwilling partner breaks the entire ceremony of sex. Rape is not the only way a broken sex ceremony can take place. It is seen that a prostitute is often considered to be compared to a road, which gets rubbed and exploited everyday, which is again a very different way of defining statemental approach for a sex.

For a true bond to occur in a relationship there must be a true connection between two people. If one partner in the relationship is cheating on the other, there is a possibility of a third person breaking the two-person ceremony. It is unknown if this is actually another person (as in the case of unfaithfulness) or if it is a secret wrap in a brown mantle, hooded that is manifesting itself as an intruder on the walking couple. Whatever it is, it is breaking the ceremony of the relationship and obviously bothers the speaker who mentions the other walking beside worker. The pursuit of sex by the youth, is like the "yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window panes," some pursue this their whole lives. It is like a bachelor looking in the corners of streets and bars for a bit of youth and company.

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Story first published: Friday, May 12, 2006, 10:57 [IST]

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