Lecturer, PhD., University of Craiova, Faculty of Letters, The Department of British, American and German Studies;
Shakespeare’s paired portraits of a beautiful, unattainable young man and a dark, promiscuous woman can easily be read as expressions of the deepest misogyny. But it is worth remembering that the Petrarchan tradition he challenged was also consistent with misogyny. Petrarch himself had written misogynist satires on women, and the objectified, ideal lady of the Petrarchan sonnet tradition stood as an implicit rebuke to the human imperfection of women as they actually were. The Petrarchan lady modelled the features that constituted a beautiful woman – in life as well as in art. Petrarch’s figuration of Laura’ played a crucial role in the development of a code of beauty… that causes us to view the fetish zed body as a norm and encourages us to seek, or to seek to be, ideal types, beautiful monsters composed of every individual perfection.
misogyny, effeminate men, protofeminist, lust, fetishism