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ENG307H1 (1)

ENG307 - Term Test 1 Study Notes

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Terry Robinson

ENG307 Term Test Review Notes Week 1: Womens Writing Justified The Introduction (1713) Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea 1661-1720; one of earliest pubd women poets in England; family believed in educating girls; member of the Court of King Charles II Maid of Honor to Mary of Modena (later wife of King James II); countess when uncle, Earl of Winchilsea, died Iambic pentameter; catalectic (last syllable dropped in each line); couplets Wit, undoing a hierarchy (critics see selves as superior, undermine that authority); distinctions b/n true judges; challenging boundaries; presumptuous; how dare she write/pub poetry? any other female virtue cant make up for this affront, cant redeem Writing would cloud beauty; education mark a woman, less beautiful, degrade Satirical tone; showing capable of writing like a man, using literary techniques/modes & methods, capable of wit heaven, distributing wit & poetry, was diffusive 3 biblical tales: 1) David brings Ark of Covenant back to Israel; King Saul jealous when women praise him; daughter falls in love with David 2) Deborah, prophet, leads Israelites into victory against oppressor, King of Canaan; also led people in time of peace (40 years) Fanfare re: return of the ark holy virgins women are poets, singing poetry needed to properly solemnize event David & Apollo collapsed, muses Another chorus, public opinion dictated by women guiding the rest (men) womens ideas have political ramifications; military prowess is great, but her intellectual process is even greater Greco-Roman Muses: goddesses/representatives of poetry, arts & sciences function as sources of inspiration to those Contracted Wing: reputation/survival, potent > question of timing, emphasizes social structures thatre still in place, concern for other women Collapsing gender/sex & ideology; challenging gender ideology [A Cure for Poetry] (1741) Annabella Blount Domesticity = cure for poetry live in a patriarchal society; undermined: @ same time, writing a poem & giving it, displaying skill as a poet; compliant & defiant Interest in moving forward, cautionary mode as well To My Friend Mrs.______. On Her Holding an Argument in Favour of the Natural Equality of Both Sexes (1769) Clara Reeve Mass amount of women attempting poetry = suffering under delusion, because cant handle poetry Exception: if masculine-like (establishing she/speaker is diff/capable) Establishing a hierarchy: regular women cant handle poetry, but I can, superior, etc. Gender ideology ~ imagining new space in which can write poetry that space is tied to masculinity; cultural constructs coloring her perspective simultaneously supporting & attempting to break Even if mind = masculine, body = female, so always rejected as poet Poems posturing: Im the king, nobody can spin rhymes like me promoting self even @ end of poem; suggesting poetry hasnt done much for her socially From Ode to the Muse (1791) Mary Robinson Became his mistress before he became king; decided would break into poetic circle instead of actress Della Crasca = poetic circle headed by Robert Merry; pubd in The World, signed with pseudonym; decided to pub poem in response to Merry Della Cruscan poetry = extremely fanciful Robinson: definition of poetry = mixture of passion & reason muse of poetry, highly wrought sexual imagery, sensual language poetic penetration; poetry associated with masculinity; poetic inspiration in the form of the sexual Social construction women writers, apologize for writing, asking for a chance in intro _____ Sex: the classification of organisms as male/female on basis of reproductive organs [nature, biological, male/female] Gender: sexual identity (sexuality), influenced by social norms & customs [nurture, masculinity/femininity] long Eighteenth Century; earliest part = the Restoration; Romanticism Wit: a) mental sharpness & inventiveness, keen intelligence; b) ability to use words & ideas in a quick & inventive way when used for humors sake, literary quality that defines ones artistic skill/linguistic finesse Gender Ideology: the collapsing of sex & gender, such that culturally-formed gender traits/behaviours are considered biologically inherent Ren Descartes: Cogito, ergo sum. (I think, therefore I am) influence on Mary Astell (A Serious Proposal to the Ladies, 1694) incapacity of women = acquired; disadvantages in social hierarchy can be overcome; not inherent; capable of the best; obstruct own empowerment/advancement Female Rationalism: (on heels of Cartesian Revolution) mind not shaped/limited by bodily characteristic (Cartesian models of mind) *female rationale: including biological sexual differences; equal capacity to reason as men; cognitive potential Week 2: Libertinism & Female Sexuality The Disappointment (1680) Aphra Behn Erotic literature popular @ time; first published in Earl of Rochesters book (anonymously) later reprinted Exploring idea of sexual consent in conjunction with womans honor; highlighting female sexuality/desires; responding to Cantenac (Loccasion perdue recouverte) power dynamic, different outcome; (his: Lysander regains virility, has sex with Cloris & cuckolds husband) o Cuckold = husband of adulteress; object of derision; often depicted w/ horns Imperfect Enjoyment poetry male = subject, female = object of desire; blame woman for causing males disempowerment; Behn tweaks this male impotence genre Lysander described in military terms, in power, Cloris admits conquest of heart; achieves sexual fulfillment, both object & subject; complete inversion of expected opposition between female modesty & male forwardness, left unconsummated Resentment disappointment Behn maintains libertine ideal of sexual freedom & play ambivalent relationship to sexual freedom sex = both desirous & dangerous Behn responds to male tradition of erotic poetry; power & complexity of sexual engagement interrogate male power as identifier of identity The Rover; or, The Banished Cavaliers (1677) Aphra Behn Socialization of the male, objective of female = rein him in Naples, Carnival time (Charles II in exile) (Commonwealth/Interregnum) outdoor settings (social/public sphere, space of men, marketplace) Playing with gender ides, amorous atmosphere, new persona, no repercussions to honor Ironic that graceful Hellena sets sights on oafish Wilmore usurps masculine privilege by wearing male clothes; female rover/counter-rover Women in Restoration plays typically pawns of men; striking move on Behns part; hero = male rake Patriarchy system of society/govt in which father/eldest male = head of family & descent traced through male line Wilmore embodies privilege of patriarchy & its entailments; doesnt advocate marriage/respect women; takes advantage of patriarchal society Behn undercutting his Royalist sexuality glam outlaw, but fool & rapacious beast; attempt to reverse male privilege 2ndrymarginalization within female hierarchy Behn deliberately switches up hierarchies, even male-male & female-female ones Ultimate hero of play = Belville (nice guy = winner) No free love; patriarchal society, need commitment; perpetuating hierarchy, but cant veer outside (lose-lose) have to defy patriarchy & learn how t
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