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The Nature of LoveCourtly and Romantic$
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Irving Singer

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780262512732

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262512732.001.0001

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Puritans and Rationalists

Puritans and Rationalists

Chapter:
(p.241) 8 Puritans and Rationalists
Source:
The Nature of Love
Author(s):

Irving Singer

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262512732.003.0009

This chapter highlights the importance of married love among the Puritans in England and America. Married love carried with it a social and religious relevance. For John Milton, one of its greatest exponents and harshest critics, married love is the highest bond that can exist between a man and a woman on earth. However, it is also considered the root of their greatest misery. Even Shakespeare concedes the importance of married love and presents it in his works as the supreme goal of true lovers. There has been doubt throughout Puritan writings of subsequent generations regarding the spirituality of sexual love, but the notion of sexual love as part of the natural armor that holds together the family unit cannot be denied.

Keywords:   married love, Puritans, John Milton, Shakespeare, spirituality, sexual love, family unit

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