votaress


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Related to votaress: Votarist

vo•ta•ress

(ˈvoʊ tər ɪs)

n.
a woman who is a votary.
[1580–90]
Mentioned in ?
References in classic literature ?
His seeming rescue by a votaress of the high priestess of the sun had been but a part of the mimicry of their heathen ceremony--the sun looking down upon him through the opening at the top of the court had claimed him as his own, and the priestess had come from the inner temple to save him from the polluting hands of worldlings--to save him as a human offering to their flaming deity.
He attempts to woo the votaress with the physical results of the massacre he has orchestrated, forcing her to see the conversion of buildings from homes and places of trade and worship, to mass graves awash with blood and body parts; to experience violence so far-reaching that the blood spilt comes from, and stains, the very souls of the slain.
Oberon's unjustified whim for the boy and his jealousy of Titania's love for her votaress drive him to use the flower's power--not for healing--but to enforce his will of male entitlement over woman and female camaraderie, and to mock her loving attitude toward nature.
They might have subliminally evoked the exotic East Indian setting of Titania's love idyll with her votaress in act 2, scene 1 of A Midsummer Night's Dream; she terms this setting--perhaps in another Marlovian resonance--"Neptunes yellow sands" (TLN 502).