Choose two different representations of love from the texts you have studied in the English Renaissance. How is love used in these texts to address wider cultural issues in the period? Is love “love” as we would recognise it?
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This is a complicated question, perhaps a long essay or final paper type of question. These kinds of questions generally have more than one answer, and the answer largely depends on the individual who is holding the pen. That said, No one can completely answer the question for you, but I can at least try to help get you thinking in the right direction.
First of all, you have to choose two texts from the English Renaissance. If you're in graduate school, I assume you have a syllabus, or reading list from the class you took on the English Renaissance? Your best bet is to choose works from that list. It sounds like that is what your teacher wants you to do anyway.
The next think you might want to figure out is how "we" (as a society I supose?) "recognize love." This is tricky because, in my opinion, our society has several different definitions of love. You might want to focus on one or two, depending on the length of your paper. Once you decide on a modern definition of love, you can begin comparing it to the love espoused in the works of the English Renaissance.
Keep in mind also as you're writing that the assignment is asking you how love during the English Renaissance was used to address "wider cultural issues." This sounds fairly specific, so I wouldn't expect the love you're looking for in the texts to necessarily be too similar to the love "we would recognize."
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