Allegories of Breeding: Milton’s Queer Disfigurations

  • Corey McEleney
Part of the Early Modern Cultural Studies 1500–1700 book series (EMCSS)


In “Allegories of Breeding: Milton’s Queer Disfigurations,” Corey McEleney examines the intimate link between rhetoric and sexuality, arguing that Paradise Lost’s allegory of Sin and Death “provides a glimpse at the queer disfigurations… on which figurative language, both like and as a form of desire, is based.” If allegory is a form of disfigurement, then the breeding of Sin and Death functions as a metafigural moment throwing light on the disfiguring transformations of figural language. Situating his argument within Renaissance humanist debates about rhetoric and rhetorical extravagance as well as recent historicist critiques of queer unhistoricism in early-modern studies, McEleney advocates a queer deconstruction attentive to tenuous and even monstrous links between sexuality and form, underscoring their capacity to unsettle hegemonic systems of signification.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Corey McEleney
    • 1
  1. 1.Fordham UniversityBronxUSA

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