acrasia


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acrasia

An obsolete term for a lack of self-control; disinhibition.
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Spenser's Legend of Temperance depicts the moral turpitude and incapacitation wrought on Verdant by the lecherous charms of Acrasia (II.xii.79-82) as one of many variations on sexuality in the poem as a whole.
It is hard not to see Spenser's description of Acrasia's Bower of Bliss, one of Hawthorne's favorite literary passages which partly inspired "Rappaccini's Daughter," with its lush sensuality of uncertain moral significance, lying behind the account of Hilda's unexplained sojourn.
Since Spenser leaves Acrasia alive, however, after Guyon destroys the Bower of Bliss (III.i.2.1-6), he possibly meant for Ruddymane to go after her in a future book which was never, in fact, completed.
The question then becomes, if Guyon and reason must triumph, why does he spare Acrasia? The answer lies in the third response to the question, What is man?
Part D is focussed on acrasia in Plato and Aristotle.
Percival once more threatens to act as Guyon to Kitty's Acrasia by destroying her "Bowre of Blisse," reinforcing via the Spenserian intertext the link between the bower and Kitty's body.
The garden of England--weedy, unpruned, holding "foes [...] enrooted with [...] friends" (2H4 4.1.205)--seems at times just as offensively overgrown as Acrasia's artificial bower.
After the Palmer with his "vertuous staffe" transforms them back into men, they still "vnmanly looke" and "stared ghastly," either for "inward shame" or for "wrath" to see Acrasia taken prisoner.
Of the seven essays on The Faerie Queene, three have been published previously: Andrew King's piece on the "medieval" structure of the poem (appearing in the 2001 Review of English Studies); Syrthie Pugh's "Acrasia and Bondage: Guyon's Perversion of the Ovidian Erotic in book 2 of The Faerie Queene," which repeats a chapter in her Spenser and Ovid (2005); and Catherine Addison's contribution on the Spenserian stanza, available in The Southern African Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies (2002).
The distinction between continence and temperance is overlooked so that Acrasia, who stands for intemperance (a passionless state of wickedness), is linked with Amavia and Dido as examples of female figures overwhelmed by passion (p.