Eros and Anteros: Queer Mutuality in The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce
In “Eros and Anteros: Queer Mutuality in The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce,” David Orvis ponders the radical erotic potential of a single allusive moment in Milton’s Doctrine. In a chapter fulminating against enforced marriage, we find an impassioned defense of the mutual love that should precede matrimony, figured through the homoerotic coupling of twin brothers Eros and Anteros. Tracking the diverse classical sources that inform Doctrine’s version of the myth, Orvis argues that Milton exploits the controversies and contradictions attached to the story of Eros and Anteros to put into discourse a hitherto ineffable mutual love. Separated from pre-existing social structures, this mutuality lends itself to queer critique of their hegemonic status.