Willobie His Avisa


Avisa "The Bird Not Seen"

Avisa The Eagle and H.W.

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Avisa The Eagle and H.W.
The H.W . portion of Willobie his Avisa is the most important part of the book . On the surface it appears that H.W is vainly pursuing Avisa . But we need to remember this is a book of opposites. If we read very carefully H.W states that it is AVISA who is laying siege to his heart . We also notice a thematic reversal in the H.W dialog and many reasons are given for why Avisa would be bad for H.W. and not the other way around. It is very clear that the author of Willobie His Avisa has a deep concern for H.W. This is why Avisa is constantly referred to as an Eagle. The author sees her as a predator who is aggressively courting and snatching away snatching away H.W. This is a twisted allusion to the Ganymede myth where Ganymede is abducted by Aquilla the Eagle to be raped by Zeus. But in this twisted version it is the Eagle , Avisa ( Penelope Rich ) who is preying on H.W ( Henry Wriothesley).. In the authors next libel "The Affectionate Shepherd" We see the same scenario the young man is being aggressively courted by an older and beautiful woman. The myth is directly referred to because the young man is given the name Ganymede. The full H.W. dialog is to function as a cautionary tale directed at Henry Wriothesley about the dangers of getting involved with an immoral woman like Penelope Rich.
Posted on November 1, 2010 Full Size| Slideshow