Chastity in Literature

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Corrinne Harol (Universidade Aberta)
Download PDF Add to Bookshelf Report an Error

While chastity’s meaning and relative importance have varied over time and place, it has always suggested the triumph of culture over nature, or mind over body. The logic for chastity is usually founded on the idea that attachment to sensual things makes one less committed to nonsenual values, whether religious, political, social, or philosophical. The term typically connotes both the difficulty in achieving such ideals and the sense that chastity is nonetheless an unconditional standard; hence one rarely encounters the comparative or superlative (chaster, chastest) variants of the term. The bodily function most associated with chastity is sexuality (virginity or celibacy), but it can encompass others as well: austerity in dress or continence in the consumption of food or alcohol, for…

2404 words

Citation: Harol, Corrinne . "Chastity in Literature". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 04 August 2010 [, accessed 05 March 2024.]

13862 Chastity in Literature 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.