The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1688 Tuesday, 3 July 2001
From: Helen Vella-Bonavita <
Date: Tuesday, 03 Jul 2001 13:28:54 +0100
Subject: 12.1626 Re: "not well married"
Comment: Re: SHK 12.1626 Re: "not well married"
With the proviso that I do not have a reference to hand, might the
friar's lines refer to the idea that over-much sexuality, even within
the bonds of marriage, was considered by some churchmen to be adultery
and sinfulness? Thus, a 'long-married' woman by the fact of her lengthy
exposure to sensual temptation might be likelier to sin than one whose
married life was short. I suppose Thomas More was in my mind because of
another posting, but I can remember one example he gives of a beautiful
woman deliberately inflicted with a disfiguring illness by God, who thus
preserved her from her own lustfulness on the grounds that noone would
go near her. The two examples aren't exactly parallel, but the notion of
a preemptive strike to prevent sin is present in both.
Helen Vella Bonavita
University of Wales, Lampeter
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