Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



English Language, Literature, and Creative Writing


Literature, English.


Herendeen, W.




Robert Herrick's Hesperides is a volume of poetry preoccupied with the feminine. Indeed, the presentation of women in Hesperides reflects a larger cultural preoccupation with the feminine seen in Renaissance literature in general and in the cultural documents of the querelle des femmes (1540-1648) in particular. This Renaissance preoccupation with the feminine, in turn, displays both a blatant and latent cultural misogyny. In the documents of the querelle des femmes women are discussed in their various social roles: mother, wife, and daughter. Though the ostensible concern of these texts is the female role within the family and society, an idiom of sexuality is established through an emphasis on the female body. Hesperides is a concentrated example, as it were, of well established literary paradigms of misogyny and the cultural paradigms of misogyny seen in the querelle des femmes. Centered on the grotesque female body, Herrick's vulgar epigrams display his overt misogyny. This grotesque body can, in turn, be related to a maternal figure. The latent misogyny in Hesperides is concealed in the amorous poetry. Herrick's love poetry is ambiguous. Though ostensibly concerned with woman as an erotic object, the amorous poems enact strategies of avoidance and displacement which express the same horror toward the feminine seen in the coarse epigrams. Through an examination of the psychological patterns of the voyeurism and fetishism in Herrick's love poetry a paradigm of triangulation emerges. Allowing for the absent maternal presence in Hesperides, this paradigm of erotic triangulation provides a basis for the contradictory nature of the misogyny in Hesperides--the maternal figure is both longed for and unavailable, the male child's first love and a primary reminder of castration. (Abstract shortened by UMI.) Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 34-02, page: 0535. Adviser: Wyman Herendeen. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1995.