In the first half of the seventeenth century, a dramatic art form became important among the English elite and its intelligentsia. It was known as the 'Court Masque'; these performances were staged in a specially designed and highly sophisticated theatre in Whitehall. In the prime seats, on the lines of vision which offered the perfect perspectives, were the King and Queen. Much of the acting was done by the nobility. Sets; clothing; music, everything was of the best. The texts were embodiments of verbal sensuality.
For much of this period, the mastermind was the arch-intellectual of the decades, Inigo Jones.
But the ideology offered was of chaste, marital, love. Immorality was reprobated. The Royal Couple, examples to the entire the entire community of conjugal fidelity and mutual , exclusive passion, were in every way and every sense, central.
Perhaps the climactic Masque was to be Caelum Britannicum in 1634. The text was by Thomas Carew ... except that I rather share the view that it was a bit above him. The section round about line 300 is an advanced example of what the Romans had liked to admire as doctrina. It looks to me as though the real author might have been the mighty Jones himself. However that may be, the theme is that Heaven must be purified of the the sexual immorality which it expresses through all those constellations which derive from Ovidian tales of divine sexual liaisons.
"Not, as of old, to whisper amorous talesof wanton love into the glowing ear of some choice beauty" ... Jupiter's 'loose strumpets'. "The Lawgiver in his own person observes his decrees so punctually; who, besides, to eternize the memory of that great example of matrimonial union which he derives from hence, hath on his bedroom door and ceiling , fretted with stars, in capital letters engraven the inscription of CARLOMARIA."
But there has to be a cultural counterpoint to st off all this virtue: the figure Momus. And Momus, even in this context of strongly asserted virtue, has no problems about bawdy humour of the most explicitly 'smutty' kind. Queen Henrietta Maria, apparently, had no inhibitions about enjoying such humour as this elaboration of the Greek mythology involving, Hebe, goddess of Youth: "Hebe through the lubricity of the pavement tumbling over the halfpace, presented the emblem of the forked tree [mandrake], and discovered to the tanned Ethiops the snowy cliffs of Calabria with the grotto of Puteolum" [a reference, I presume, to the crypta Neapolitana].
To be concluded.