Chapter: English Literature in the Sixteenth Century
Fair Cynthia wished his arms might be her sphere;Grief makes her pale, because she moves not there.
The Norton helpfully notes that Cynthia is the moon, and that the word "sphere" in this instance actually means "orbit." Which is to say, the Moon wishes that Leander was her Earth, such was his almighty hotness.
Leander's sexuality, however, is confused by a few statements elsewhere in the poem. For starters, he's friggin' Rapunzel: "His dangling tresses that were never shorn..." He's got just a mountain of hair which is later compared to the Golden Fleece. His breast is smooth. His skin is pale. His cheeks and lips shine. His-- wait as second. What the hell?
Some swore he was a maid in man's attire,For in his looks were all that men desire:A pleasant smiling cheek, a speaking eye,A brow for love to banquet royally;And such as knew he was a man, would say,"Leander, thou art made for amorous play;Why art thou not in love, and loved of all
Leander made dudes gay. Unless he really was a woman, in which case he made chicks lesbians. Either way, this story just got really weird.
Author: Christopher Marlowe • Year: 1598 • Info:Wikipedia
Lit Brick is a comic started by Jodie Troutman in an effort to read the entire Norton Anthology of English Literature. Having eventually succeeded in that goal, it now features comics about all manner of random literature. For more of Jodie's work, visit longtalljodie.com!