Last lecture was about the good girls and the not so good girls
At first I instantly assumed Behn and Cavendish would be the bad girls and Philips would be the good girl. Of course in retrospect Philips is innocent compared to the other two lovely ladies, because of her topics of “choice”: relationships, nothing political, no classical allusions-basically appropriate things for a female writer. When I study/read very different female writers, I often think why does one girl choose one path (more radical) than the other. Obviously, there would have to be a reason, could it just be personality, or a past experience that drove “her” to not conform to social norms.
Despite how “good girl” Philips is let me reintroduce “against love” I do not see how that poem could be considered a poem that a traditional female would write. Judging by the title is the initial give away. Of course she stays within the boundaries of love and conventional diction, but she is not particularly speaking for the approved relationship between male and female. It is against love, unlike the traditional sonnet. Even in form she slightly breaks from the conventional form, key being “slightly” because in itself Philips is only merely breaking from the social norms for female writers. Also, I highly agree with what Dr. Jones said she is being a writer, speaking out, not being the passive, unspoken woman.
A Flemish tapestry (circa 1520) depicts the triumph of Death (represented here by the three Fates of Greek myth) over Chastity, a symbol in Petrarch’s work The Triumphs. First Love triumphs, thenChastity triumphs over Love, then Chastity is overcome by Death,Death by Fame, Fame by Time, and Time by Eternity.
The description of this image to the left is above, I am aware that this has nothing to do with what we have/are discussing, but when I was browsing through photos of Philips I came across this and my first thought was how it made me think of Behn,Cavendish, and (somewhat) Philips. The picture would then symbolize women who have challenged societies norms and see themselves above (figuratively/literally in the case of the picture) women that seek no challenge, no voice, no self. Maybe you all may think I am crazy, but that is what I visualized.
Furthermore, Philips carries on with her not so lady like poem ” To one persuading a lady to marry” I see it as this a female writer that intended to follow the rules would not be elevating a woman over a man and she would see marriage as something you just had to do and no disputing.
Perhaps I am ranting and making no sense but is that not what a blog is for? For me to express my thoughts and ideas even if people do not agree. ANYWAYS…
Behn, no shocker there. We all know what type of lady she is…looking over the “Unforgettable happy lady” I see she may be a lady that tells tall tales, kidding.
In the end the award of outstanding reputation goes to….the lady that only goes so far PHILIPS. I respect Cavendish and Behn for all that they say and feel, but I enjoy Philips more so. When I say that all I can think of is how everyone supposedly thought she was boring.