Comment briefly on the attitude of the puritans to literature in the nineteenth century

Nineteenth-century literature groups together the set of authors who write during the nineteenth century as well as the aesthetic theories and works published during this period. It can be divided into three major stages: Romanticism, Realism and finisecular literature, which connects with twentieth century literature. Although these currents are properly European, the imperialist influence makes traces to be found throughout the world, although they can continue diverse local traditions with other periodizations and characteristics. As the movements develop at different rates in each country, this article divides the information for decades.

The beginning of the Renaissance is a time marked, among other things, by the presence of greater sexual freedom that is clearly expressed in both Painting and Literature or Architecture, but at the end of the 15th century they begin to appear (or know) some sexually transmitted diseases that at that time were considered as divine punishment to sexual excesses.

The Puritanism of the XVII-XIX centuries considered that any sexual behavior that was not aimed at reproduction was an abnormal, condemnable and sinful sexual behavior

They also link non-reproductive sexual activity to disease.

Masturbation was considered as a cause of diseases such as epilepsy, tuberculosis and even deformities in children who could breed at another time, who used to practice it.

At that time, there were medical treaties dedicated to the cure of those qualified as “sexual deviations”.

Attitudes and permissiveness towards sexuality also in this time, as in any other, depended on the social class to which it belonged. The middle and lower classes were forced to behave or to pretend that they behaved in accordance with the prevailing morality, while among the upper classes or the higher levels of the clergy were more liberal in their customs.

Part of the responsibility of the existing myths was held by the doctors who argued that practicing more sex or masturbation was linked to dying young, to suffer a series of diseases or to become idiots.

But, on the other hand, in the great European cities there existed real armies of prostitutes, which means that someone used them.

In addition, child prostitution was widespread.

The upper class, on the other hand, enjoyed free love.

In the Victorian era is when the first known laws against pornography were enacted.

At the end of the 18th century, the Marquis de Sade introduced a new vision of sexual pleasure in France. He received condemnations and misinterpretations that led to his writings being considered as incitement to perversion and crime. At present, sometimes also continues to misinterpret the writings of Sade.

Comment briefly on the attitude of the puritans to literature in the 19th century.

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  1. 2017

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