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Between c and c, Italian urban societies saw much debate on women1s nature, roles, education, and behaviour. This book fills a gap in the still burgeoning literature on all aspects of women1s lives in this period.

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Using a broad range of material, most of which never translated before, this book illuminates the ideals and realities informing the lives of women within the context of civic and courtly culture in Renaissance Italy. The text is divided into three sections: contemporary views on the nature of women, and ethical and aesthetic ideals seen as suitable to them; life cycles from birth to death, punctuated by the rites of passage of betrothal, marriage and widowhood; women1s roles in the convent, the court, the workplace, and in cultural life.

Through their exploration of these themes, Mary Rogers and Paola Tinagli demonstrate that there was no single 'Renaissance woman'. Other stories in Ovid's work are, to a lesser degree, considered sources: the tales of Salmacis and Hermaphroditus , Narcissus , and Pygmalion. Venus and Adonis was extremely popular as soon as it was published, and it was reprinted fifteen times before It is unusual that so few of the original quartos have survived.

Adonis is a young man renowned for his incredible beauty. However, he is not interested at all in love; he only wants to go hunting. Venus is the goddess of love. When she sees Adonis, she falls in love with him, and comes down to earth, where she encounters him setting out on a hunt. She desires him to get off his horse, and speak to her. Adonis doesn't want to talk to any woman, not even a goddess.

So she forces him, and then lies down beside him, gazes at him, and talks of love. She craves a kiss; he wants to leave and go hunting. He manages to get away, and he goes to get his horse. At that moment, his horse becomes enamored of another horse, who at first resists, but soon the two animals gallop off together, which keeps Adonis from going hunting.

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Venus approaches him, and continues to speak to him of love. He listens for a bit, then turns away scornfully.

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This pains her, and she faints. Afraid he might have killed her, Adonis kneels beside her, strokes and kisses her.

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Venus recovers and requests one last kiss. He reluctantly gives in. Venus wants to see him again; Adonis tells her that he cannot tomorrow, because he is going to hunt the wild boar. Venus has a vision, and warns him that if he does so, he will be killed by a boar. She then flings herself on him, tackling him to the ground.

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He pries himself loose, and lectures her on the topic of lust versus love. He then leaves; she cries. The next morning Venus roams the woods searching for Adonis. She hears dogs and hunters in the distance. Thinking of her vision that he will be killed by the boar, she is afraid, and hurries to catch up with the hunt.

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She comes across hunting dogs that are injured. Then she finds Adonis, killed by a wild boar.

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Venus is devastated. Because this loss occurred to the goddess of love, she decrees that love will henceforth be mixed with suspicion, fear, and sadness. Adonis' body has grown cold and pale. His blood gives color to the plants all around him. A flower grows from the soil beneath him. It is white and purple, like blood on Adonis' flesh. Venus, bereft, leaves the Earth to hide her sadness where the gods live. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.