Rachel Speght | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 44 pages of analysis & critique of Rachel Speght.
This section contains 12,269 words
(approx. 41 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Barbara Kiefer Lewalski

SOURCE: Lewalski, Barbara Kiefer. “Defending Women's Essential Equality: Rachel Speght's Polemics and Poems.” In Writing Women in Jacobean England, pp. 153-75. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1993.

In the following excerpt, Lewalski discusses Speght's life and two major works, A Muzzle for Melastomus and Mortalities Memorandum, which the critic argues establish Speght as one of the earliest European feminists who contested popular and biblically based ideas on the inferior status of women.

Rachel Speght's importance has been seriously underrated. A well-educated young woman of the London middle class, she was the first Englishwoman to identify herself, unmistakably and by name, as a polemicist and critic of contemporary gender ideology. She took manifest pride in her published foray into the Jacobean gender wars as well as in her poems: a long memento mori meditation, and an allegorical dream-vision that recounts her own rapturous encounter with learning and also defends women's...

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This section contains 12,269 words
(approx. 41 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Barbara Kiefer Lewalski
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Critical Essay by Barbara Kiefer Lewalski from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.