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Robert O' Brien

Khan 1 SHORT ANSWERS- EXAM RESPONSES 1) A Room of One’s Own - This concept is derived from Virginia Woolf’s piece A Room of One’s Own which conveyed Woolf’s primary concern of women’s professional advancement, especially as writers. A “Room of One’s Own” is argues that women need a room of their own, as this is important for women writers for many reasons such as having a space of their own allows women not have any restrictions in their speech or creativity due to worldly interruptions (political, economic and otherwise). Among other reasons for why women require a room of their own, Woolf hints at women having the freedom of their own space where their writing is not influenced and constrained by male academics who place restrictions on women’s writing. Further, this concept of a room of one’s own doesn’t just signify one room but a woman’s place in community, and further, a concept outside of the literary sense. This concept by Woolf can also be seen as a critique of the early modern writers as women tended not to write in isolation and were often subject to writing in coterie networks (where they were compelled to engage in manuscript exchanges between friends). 2) Coterie Networks -Coterie networks were basically circles where women were able to exchange manuscripts among their friends. This type of network was a means of displaying women’s writing- especially since women often did not get the opportunity and exposure to display their work otherwise (through publication). This concept is important for our analysis as Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own subliminally critiques this concept as women should be able to write in isolation (in a room of their own) without interruptions. It is clear with the idea of coterie networks that early modern writers tended not to write in isolation, and as per Woolf’s argument, this often impacted their writing (and creative abilities) which were always influenced (and restricted) through societal and misogynistic constraints. Wroth and Philips were examples of women writers who were part of coterie circles, and Philips perspective on coterie networks clashes with that of Woolf’s such that Philips preferred a private coterie network of readers over publishing work publically for readers. 3) Textual Community - A textual community is a place or social circle where texts are produced, read, circulated, and interpreted. Social relationships between members and places in a textual community impact the meaning of a text. For example, Lanyer’s Description of Cookeham was written for a female textual community and included members such as Margaret Clifford (the Countess of Cumberland). The poem Description of Cookeham was created by and for a female textual community, and the unifying community of women was defined by their shared experience of the place Cookeham. Also, aspects within the poem illustrate that the poem was about the idea of an all-female textual community. For Lanyer, poetry functioned as a network of relationships and she tries to draw strength by creating an all-female textual community, where women are unified despite the societal (class, race…etc.) barriers. Khan 2 4) King Charles I -Charles I was the son of King James I, who essentially lived a very unhappy life (upon inheriting an unhappy state, along with other disappointments). Charles I is important for us due to his death being symbolic of a righteous sacrifice, and further, because Katherine Philips wrote a poem about his death called Upon the Double Murther. Philips wrote a poem about King Charles I’s murder as his redeeming moment and this is important as the poem allows a female speaker to giver herself permission and authority to speak out politically against matters of slander that lead to treason. Further, King Charles I’s death and Philips response portrays the role that female author’s had to begin playing in the civil war, since events were so catastrophic that women could no longer keep silent. 5) Judith Shakespeare -Judith Shakespeare is important for our analysis as she was a woman whose credibility was undermined due to her gender, as defined by Virginia Woolf in a Room of One’s Own. Woolf aimed to create a character of Judith Shakespeare as Shakespeare’s sister to outline that despite having the same talent as her brother, Judith was denied education or employment at a theatre due to her gender. It is important to note that Woolf has merely created the character of Judith as in reality Judith was Shakespeare’s daughter with no similarities to the character created by Woolf. Woolf uses Judith to fill a gap with fiction in history as Judith died without having the opportunity to fulfill her literary genius. This concept is important because it not only plays into concepts of gender essentialism but also speaks to the lack of women writers (or knowledge of them) from the Elizabethan age. 6) Convent of Pleasure The C
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