Poetry of Phillis Wheatley and Philip Freneau
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The paper examines how in the poetry of Phillis Wheatley and Philip Freneau, the respective contemporary cultural scenes of their times resound throughout their poetry. The paper highlights how Wheatley illustrates her life as a slave brought from Africa with a strong Christian background and extreme nationalistic tendencies, all of which ultimately reflect the contemporary cultural scene in America. The paper also shows how Freneau uses his poetry to portray the events of the American Revolution and its accompanying emotions.
From the Paper:"When Phillis Wheatley wrote Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, the first book published by an African American woman, she began two traditions simultaneously: the African American literary tradition and the African American women's literary tradition. This was a monumental accomplishment for a slave, as Wheatley was brought from Africa to America in 1761, when she was seven or eight years old. She learned the English language without formal schooling and in sixteen months she had enough mastery that she could read the most difficult parts of the Bible.
"Clearly, Wheatley's New England education, acquired through informal tutorial sessions, influenced her poetry. That education consisted of astronomy, ancient and modern geography, ancient history, the Old and New Testaments, and Greek and Roman mythology. Additionally, it has also been reported that Alexander Pope's translation of Homer was one of Phillis' favorite books. As a consequence of this education, Phillis' poetry emphasizes the classics and the Bible.
"One specific example of the effect of the then contemporary culture on Wheatly's poetry is the fact that she wrote public poetry celebrating events of historical importance. In "To the King's Most Excellent Majesty," Wheatley expresses the nation's gratitude to King George III for the repeal of the Stamp Act. In "To the Right Honourable William, Earl of Dartmouth, His Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for North-America," Wheatley praises an administrative appointment to the colonies."
Cite this Analytical Essay:
Poetry of Phillis Wheatley and Philip Freneau (2003, October 28) Retrieved September 28, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/poetry-of-phillis-wheatley-and-philip-freneau-44407/
"Poetry of Phillis Wheatley and Philip Freneau" 28 October 2003. Web. 28 September. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/poetry-of-phillis-wheatley-and-philip-freneau-44407/>