Changing woman english 371 early depictions
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Changing Woman: English 371 Early Depictions. Danika Rockett University of Baltimore Summer 2010. What is a feminist?. A person who participates in emancipatory politics on the behalf of women. Education Employment opportunities Property ownership Bodily rights

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Changing Woman: English 371 Early Depictions

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Changing woman english 371 early depictions

Changing Woman: English 371Early Depictions

Danika Rockett

University of Baltimore

Summer 2010


What is a feminist

What is a feminist?

  • A person who participates in emancipatory politics on the behalf of women.

    • Education

    • Employment opportunities

    • Property ownership

    • Bodily rights

    • Changing the public perception of women


Changing woman english 371 early depictions

v


Today s readings

Today’s Readings

  • Margery Kempe – “On Female Celibacy”; “Her Temptation into Adultery”; “A Settlement with Her Husband”

  • Elizabeth I – “Speech to the Troops at Tilbury”

  • Anne Bradstreet – “To My Dear and Loving Husband”

  • AphraBehn – “The Willing Mistress”; “On Her Loving Two Equally”

  • Mary Astell – “A Serious Proposal to the Ladies”


Medieval women 476 1500

Medieval Women476 - ~1500

  • Considered inferior to men, but …

  • Not stay-at-home mothers or housewives

  • Worked a variety of professions

  • Able to own property if single or widowed


Margery kempe 1373 1438

Margery Kempe (1373 – 1438)

  • Suffers nervous breakdown after birth of child

  • Had disturbing visions

  • Considered a religious oddity

  • A suspected Lollard

  • Earliest autobiography in English

  • Only account of Medieval woman’s own story

  • When was her manuscript published?


Changing woman english 371 early depictions

On Female CelibacyHer Temptation into AdulteryA Settlement with Her Husband ~from The Book of Margery Kempe

  • What were her views on celibacy?

  • How is she tempted?

  • What is the “settlement” she makes with her husband?


Early modern women 1500 1800

Early Modern Women~1500 - ~1800

  • Opportunities decreased somewhat

  • Doctors, lawyers, teachers—ALWAYS male

  • Domestic servant was most common job

  • More women became housewives

  • Girls did not attend school

  • More $$ = more freedom

  • Bluestockings (1750)


Elizabeth i queen of england 1533 1603

Elizabeth I, Queen of England(1533 – 1603)

  • The Virgin Queen

  • Fifth (and final) Tudor monarch

  • Daughter of Henry VIII

  • English Protestant Church

  • Video et taceo

  • English drama flourished

  • Molested by her uncle

  • Became Queen at 25, in 1559


Speech to the troops at tilbury

Speech to the Troops at Tilbury

  • Spanish Armada defeat in 1588

  • How does she refer to herself?


Anne bradstreet 1612 1672

Anne Bradstreet(1612 – 1672)

  • First American poet

  • Wrote first book published by a woman in the U.S.

  • Wife of Governor Simon Bradstreet (MA Bay Colony)

  • Transcended gender boundaries

  • Focused on domestic and religious themes

  • Very optimistic, rejects anger and grief


To my dear and loving husband

To My Dear and Loving Husband

If ever two were one, then surely we. If ever man were loved by wife, then thee;  If ever wife was happy in a man,  Compare with me, ye women, if you can. I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold  Or all the riches that the East doth hold. My love is such that rivers cannot quench, Nor ought but love from thee, give recompense. Thy love is such I can no way repay, The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray.  Then while we live, in love let's so persevere That when we live no more, we may live ever.

  • Meter or Rhythm?

  • Patterns or other poetic devices?


To my dear and loving husband1

To My Dear and Loving Husband

Whom is this poem addressed to? If just her husband, why does she address "ye women" here? Is she speaking to both?

Anaphora

If ever two were one, then surely we. If ever man were loved by wife, then thee;  If ever wife was happy in a man,  Compare with me, ye women, if you can. I prize thy love more than whole mines of goldOr all the riches that the East doth hold. My love is such that rivers cannot quench, Nor ought but love from thee, give recompense. Thy love is such I can no way repay, The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray.  Then while we live, in love let's so persevere That when we live no more, we may live ever.

Note how she uses the imagery of physical wealth and ownership to represent their emotional love. How does this contrast with the spiritual element of the poem?

What does this image suggest about her feelings?

Note the extra syllable in this final lines. What is its effect?


Katherine philips 1632 1654

Katherine Philips(1632 – 1654)

  • Best-known female poet of her generation

  • Typically contrasted with AphraBehn

    “For as a watch by art is woundTo motion, such was mine;But never had Orinda foundA soul till she found thine; Which now inspires, cures, and supplies,And guides my darkened breast;For thou art all that I can prize,My joy, my life, my rest.”


A married state

A Married State

  • In this poem, what does Philips seem to be saying about marriage? Does she present marriage in a negative or a positive way?

  • What kind of meter does this poem use?

  • What kind of rhyme is represented in lines 9 and 10?


Aphra behn 1640 1689

AphraBehn(1640 – 1689)

  • "All women together ought to let flowers fall upon the tomb of AphraBehn, which is, most scandalously but rather appropriately, in Westminster Abbey, for it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds. It is she--shady and amorous as she was--who makes it not quite fantastic for me to say to you tonight: Earn five hundred a year by your wits."   -- Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own


Aphra behn cont

AphraBehn, cont.

  • First professional woman writer in England

  • One of England’s most popular dramatists

    • What is significant about this?

  • Amatory fiction

  • An avid Tory

  • Her Love Letters Between a Nobleman and His Sister was the first epistolary novel in English literature

    • What is an epistolary novel?

  • “The Willing Mistress”

  • “On Her Loving Two Equally”


Mary astell 1666 1731 the first english feminist

Mary Astell(1666 – 1731) “The First English Feminist”

  • If all Men are born free, how is it that all Women are born Slaves?

  • The “first feminist”

  • Wanted to write for a living

  • A “public intellectual”


A serious proposal to the ladies

A Serious Proposal to the Ladies

  • What is Astell’s “proposal”?

  • Does she approve of women’s education?

  • Does she accept women’s subordination?

  • Does she think most women will approve of the proposal?


Essay question 1 page single spaced

Essay Question¾ - 1 page single-spaced

Consider this definition of “feminist”: A person who participates in emancipatory politics on the behalf of women.

Which of the readings for today do you think best represents this definition of “feminist”? In other words, which author seems to be the most feminist? Use examples from the readings to support your answer.


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