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Margaret Ellen Lamb 's Exploration Of Sidney 's Defense Of Poesy

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Mary Ellen Lamb 's exploration of Sidney 's Defense of Poesy notes early modern cultural anxieties around poetry 's potential power to effeminise and infantilize. Sidney challenges contemporary accusations against poetry, existing on concerns for the morality and virtuosity of its audiences. However Lamb supplies an additional stance regarding the masculine intellectual ideology of the Tudor education system. This suggests that poetry halts the indoctrination of young adult males into an emerging capitalistic England. Lamb approaches these claims through Sidney 's gendered language, with particular focus on his ‘nurse of abuse ' passage. Moreover, examinations of grammar school culture, and readings of textual allusions in Defense contribute to wider discussions on the role of appropriated masculine poetry.

Lamb initially presents works that deliver a ‘radically new approach ' in deconstructing early modern cultural ideology and literature. Including writers such as Fran Dolan and Walter Ong locates Lamb 's analysis alongside contemporaries and provides wider discourse addressing similar concepts. Laqueur 's one-sex model is cited as a key critical approach with gender presented as a ‘question of performance – of costume, of gesture, of status – rather than of ontological ' existence. This suggests early modern belief in one universal biological sex separate from gender, with gender requiring validation through masculine or feminine social constructs. Therefore this
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