Shakespeare on Sex and Aging

old men, young women, desire and performance“Is it not strange that desire should so many years outlive performance?”
(King Henry IV p2, act 2, sc. 4)

Comments. Applicable to any aging Romeo. A modern equivalent is, “I still run after women but no longer remember why.” In his Anatomy of Melancholy Robert Burton, reflecting on the general cure for love-melancholy, says, “Although it be controverted by some, whether love melancholy may be cured, because it is so irresistible a passion, for as you know,
It is an easy passage down to hell,

But to come back, once there, you cannot well. (Virgil, Aeneid)
yet without the question, if be taken in time, it may be helped, and by many good remedies amended – at any age. Avicenna sets down seven compendious ways how this malady may be eased, altered, and expelled. Savonarola nice principal observations, Jasn Praetensis prescribes eight rules, besides physic, how gthis passion may be tamed, Laurentius two main precepts, Arnoldus, Valleriola, Montaltus, Hildesheim, Langius, and others inform us otherwise, and yet all tending to the same purpose.”…
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In the play.  Poins referring to Falstaff.

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