An Unchaste Mind

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The idea of keeping chaste and saving oneself for marriage has been around since the beginning of time and it was an issue that was equally important in the seventeenth-century when writers likes Thomas Carew had ideas that were less than chaste. In fact, in his poem “The Rapture” his mindset is anything but chaste. It is largely seen as a poem that is highly erotic but when looking at it from another perspective the reader sees that it is a poem trying to break down the norm of honor because of natural sexual desires man has. During the seventeenth-century, sexual morality was highly regarded as an issue that was of concern and women were expected to keep chaste as a part of their honor. If these women became unchaste than they would lose their honor which was their reputation and their standing in society which would mean that they were looked down upon.
Thomas Carew starts off the poem being very straight forward in what he wants exactly as he writes “I Will enjoy thee now my Celia, come And flye with me to Loves Elizium” (Carew, 1-2). These lines represent the idea that he wants Celia, for himself as a his lover at that moment and he does not want to wait for her. He tackles the idea of honor next because he knows that she is going to stick with trying to keep chaste. He says “The Gyant Honour, that keeps cowards out, Is but a Masquer” (Carew, 3-4). Carew personifies honor and makes it to be a giant that people are afraid and keeps those scared away from disregarding this giant that is honor and the idea that it is “a Masquer” meaning that he sees it an an imposter and a fake that it is nothing real and merely made up to scare them. He furthers this argument when he says “the servile rout Of baser subjects onely, bend...

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...y delight
Nature or unrestrained appetite ;
Like and enjoy, to will and act is one :
We only sin when Love's rites are not done. (Carew, lines 111-4)
Carew seems to think that the idea of making love is something that is natural if this place that is heaven did not have rules of honor and chastity. That it is their natural right to enjoy each other and the only that sin that they would be committing was if they were not engaging in making love with each other. The problem with Carew’s thought of it being lawful for them to commit an act of adultery was that at the time, there were in fact passages in the King James version of the bible that were completely opposite of what Carew was trying to get from his lover. In fact, the bible said that “whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul” (Exodus 6:32).
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