Queer Milton pp 181-208 | Cite as

“What Hath Night to Do with Sleep?”: Religion and Biopolitics in Milton’s Mask

  • Melissa E. Sanchez
Part of the Early Modern Cultural Studies 1500–1700 book series (EMCSS)


In “‘What Hath Night to Do with Sleep?’: Religion and Biopolitics in Milton’s Mask,” Melissa E. Sanchez questions some of the heterotemporal assumptions behind feminist and queer interpretations of Comus. Drawing on the recent conversations about the relationship of queerness to chronological time and narratives of human development, Sanchez contends that the boundary between human and animal in A Mask is one of temporality. Although the Lady’s chaste deferral of Comus might appear to distinguish her humanity from his bestial cravings, the non-resolution of their debate reveals that the heteronormative ideology celebrated in A Mask ultimately has no basis in reason. From this vantage, Comus mobilizes a forceful queer critique of A Mask’s chronopolitics.

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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melissa E. Sanchez
    • 1
  1. 1.University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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