What Does The Locus Amoenus Represent In Renaissance Literature

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Gardens appear in literature as important symbols of beauty and power. The locus amoenus serves as an important garden motif in renaissance literature by invoking a beautiful garden that is usually symbolic of Paradise or of the Garden of Eden. The symbolism of these gardens were interpreted with many different themes depending on the content of the literature, but most predominantly, were symbolic of reproduction, sexuality, and regeneration. The locus amoenus is a space of “goodness” where sexuality is policed and refocused into a pure energy that allows for regeneration that is depicted in the growth of plants and nature. The landscape promotes change and regeneration that is extended into the overarching theme of humanity’s change and regeneration.…show more content…
These dark versions of the locus amoenus appear as an example of avoiding the corruption of the “unkempt garden.” In The Faerie Queene, Edmund Spenser presents both a traditional depiction of the locus amoenus in the Garden of Adonis in Canto VI of Book 3 as well as the dark opposite of the locus amoenus in the Bower of Bliss in Canto XII of Book 2. Though these two gardens are usually thought to be opposites of each other, the contrast between the debased Paradise and the real Paradise serves as a warning against the corruption of regeneration and overwhelming force of unpoliced sexuality. The Bower of Bliss is a stagnant, sexually overpowered version of the Garden of Adonis which is presented in The Faerie Queene to show what the Bower of Bliss can become if it begins to regenerate after Guyon destroys the bower as well as to show what the bower once was prior to Acrasia’s

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