Misogyny in English Renaissance Poetry
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This paper explores misogynist elements in English Renaissance poetry, with particular emphasis on the works of Ben Jonson, William Shakespeare and John Donne. First, the paper defines Petrarchan love, showing how it was the model for the idealized, courtly views of women during the middle ages. Then, the paper describes how Jonson, Shakespeare and Donne subvert, reject and mock Petrarchan conventions in order to overpower and subdue women, and by analogy, Queen Elizabeth I. Various examples of chauvinistic literary representations of women are cited, such as their representations as monsters, and taming these monsters. The paper concludes by stating that the literary degradation of women was a means for men to reassert their power when serving a female ruler.
From the Paper:"The concept of female, exposed as a mere shadow, insignificant and negligible, undermines courtly gender roles. This demystification continues in Jonson's "LVII: An Elegy," a poem which represents women not only as faulty but also as evil. The poet lists women's features to create a hideous "whole", for instance, mentioning their bad breath or their "treacherous breasts". Moreover, according to this poem, the faithful woman does not exist "To make the doubt clear, that no woman's true."(1). However, there is a very pronounced double standard. Although the poet loathes the monster-woman, he still desires her sexually. "
Sample of Sources Used:
- Bate, Jonathan & Rasmussen, Eric (Edited by). William Shakespeare. Complete Works. Hampshire: Macmillan Publishers LTD.2007
- De Grazia, Margreta. "The Scandal of Shakespeare's Sonnets". Shakespeare's Sonnets. Critical Essays. New York: Ed. James Schiffer. Garland Publishing Inc. 2000 http://campusvirtual.ub.edu/mod/resource/view.php?inpopup=true&id=344259
- Guibbory, Achsah. "'Oh, Let Mee Not Serve So': The Politics of Love in Donne's Elegies." In Critical Essays on John Donne, Ed. by Arthur F. Marotti. New York: G. K. Hall, 1994.
- Miles, Rosalind. Ben Jonson: His Life and Work. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul LTD, 1986.
- Phillips, Bill; Ballyn, Susan; Renes, Martin. An Anthology of English Poetry. Barcelona: Filologia Anglesa I Alemanya, Universitat de Barcelona, 2007. Print.
Cite this Analytical Essay:
Misogyny in English Renaissance Poetry (2010, October 19) Retrieved April 18, 2021, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/misogyny-in-english-renaissance-poetry-144929/
"Misogyny in English Renaissance Poetry" 19 October 2010. Web. 18 April. 2021. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/misogyny-in-english-renaissance-poetry-144929/>