The Birth of Venus Themes

Sarah Dunant
This Study Guide consists of approximately 35 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Birth of Venus.
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Homosexuality

In the time period in which this novel is set, homosexuality is a crime that is punishable by law. Young men thought to be sodomites can have their noses removed after suffering torture applied in the hopes of revealing the names of other sodomites in the city. Older men accused of homosexuality can be sentenced to death. In Florence, under the rule of the Medici family, sodomites were not afraid of prosecution as long as they practiced a reasonable about of care. However, when Lorenzo de Medici dies, the city is left without a strong leader in the Medici family. Instead, a monk begins preaching from the pulpit how he believes the city has become morally corrupt under the Medici rule. Savonarola quickly gains a large following, causing sodomites to become persecuted once more.

When Alessandra marries Cristoforo Langella she has no reason to believe he is a...

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This section contains 1,061 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Birth of Venus Study Guide
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