Rachel Speght | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 11 pages of analysis & critique of Rachel Speght.
This section contains 2,917 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Elaine V. Beilin

SOURCE: Beilin, Elaine V. “Writing Public Poetry: Humanism and the Woman Writer.” Modern Language Quarterly 51, no. 2 (1990): 249-71.

In the following excerpt, Beilin argues that Speght was one of the earliest feminist writers to insist that education for women should not merely prepare them for domestic life but should also enable them to engage in public discourse.

Had I a husband or a house,           And all that longes therto My selfe could frame about to rouse,           As other women doo: But til some houshold cares me tye,           My bookes and pen I wyll apply.(1) 

In these last lines of a verse letter to her sister, Isabella Whitney compares her sister's occupation of “huswyfery” with her own literary work. Unlike “other women,” she is apparently free from marriage and “houshold cares” and so has the opportunity to write. More precisely, her ironically contrasting verbs, tye and apply, replace a domestic...

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This section contains 2,917 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Elaine V. Beilin
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Critical Essay by Elaine V. Beilin from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.