Virginia Woolf: Shakespeare’s Sister
In the essay “Shakespeare’s sister” Virginia Woolf asks and explores the basic question of “Why women did not write poetry in the Elizabethan age”. Woolf sheds light on the reality of women’s life during this time and illustrates the effects of social structures on the creative spirit of women. In the society they lived in, women were halted to explore and fulfill their talent the same way men were able to, due to the gender role conventions that prevailed during this era. Through a theoretical setting in which it is it is imagined that William Shakespeare had a sister (Judith), Virginia Woolf personifies women during the sixteenth century in order to reflect the hardships they had to overcome as aspiring writers.
The author’s main purpose for …show more content…
This can be exhibited when she states “..that a highly gifted girl who had tried to use her gift for poetry would have been so thwarted and hindered by other people, so tortured and pulled asunder by her own contrary instincts, that she must have lost her health and sanity to a certainty.” Woolf desires to validate the idea that “woman cannot write the plays of Shakespeare” but intends to clarify that this is not due to a lack of talent or ability equal to that of men, but simply because the societal structures at the time rendered it impossible for them to be equally successful.
In the development of her argument, Woolf starts out by exposing the belief that it was impossible for women to “have the genius of Shakespeare” and she contextualises the reader with some basic information, given by an authority figure “Professor Trevelyan” about women’s conditions during the era. Woolf then provides the reader with a hypothetical situation to ponder on: What if Shakespeare had had a sister — that is, a female sibling of
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He also want to provide information that his readers will know of and relate to, motivation of
His purpose for writing this article is only
Also in Virginia Woolf’s “What If Shakespeare Had Had a Sister?” , she explains what it would be like if Shakespeare had a sister of equal talent. Would she be treated the same way as him? She is disappointed to find out that women aren’t found anywhere in literature. I believe that both essay’s share the theme of desire/talent.
Along with that, Woolf is the writer and speaker of her piece. In Woolf’s piece, she explains, “But to tell you my story--it is a simple one. You have only got to figure to yourselves a girl in a bedroom with a pen in her hand” (2). The two essays provide their audience with firsthand experiences they have had to maximize the understanding of the material. Douglas states, “I would then make the letters which I had been so fortunate as to learn and ask him to beat that” (1085).
When they were not accepted by society like men were. Also not all people understand an argument immediately. The author starts by explaining her fictional story and introducing her argument. She starts off by saying“It would have been impossible,completly and entirely, for any woman to have written the plays of shakespeare in the age of shakespeare. Let me imagine, since facts are so hard to come by, what would have happened had shakespeare had a wonderfully gifted sister, called Judith, let us say”.(Woolf)
Romeo and Juliet Essay “Shakespeare and Misogyny” A world where men dominate women. This idea was the basis of many Renaissance era dramas. Writers always used to perceive certain genders as having distinctive qualities and traits. Men were held up to a higher respect and given more violent roles than women.
The diction and tone in Woolf’s essay affects her message as it was melancholy and calm. The diction was clear and understandable to ensure that the audience could understand her message, rather than try and decipher large incoherent words. Woolf also uses many words with negative connotations, but takes a neutral attitude to the subject. At the beginning of the essay Woolf 's tone is very hopeful, but as the essay progresses it turns dark and somber. At the beginning Woolf used phrasing such as “ Pleasant morning” (Woolf 5) and “enormous energy of the world”(Woolf 24) .
It is time to discuss the meaning of gender, its significance, its importance, and how this could play a major part in one’s life. What is gender you might ask? Could it determine the role you play if you may play a role at all? Gender is socially learned and reinforced characteristics that include one’s biological sex and psychological characteristics. It is said that gender has nothing to do with male or female.
It is evident from reading Austen’s novel; Pride and Prejudice, that she possess a certain sense of empathy towards the female population and the roles they played in society. From the way in which the narrator speaks of the different female characters and how the female characters interact and develop throughout the plot, the women in this novel convey Austen’s distaste for the position women had in society during that period of time. In this essay I will discuss how the female characters view women and their roles in society and how they discuss topics such as; marriage, the ways in which a “proper” lady should behave, the roles of women in the family and finally how Elizabeth Bennet, the heroine in this story, portrays Austen’s subtle notion of rebellion towards these social constructs to which these women are tied to.
Do you know that Shakespeare is not the only gifted writer in his family? This mysterious member exists in the English writer Virginia Woolf’s imagination. In her famous essay “Shakespeare’s Sister,” Woolf uses the hypothetical anecdote of Judith Shakespeare as her main evidence to argue against a dinner guest, who believes that women are incapable of writing great literature. During the time when Judith is created, women are considered to be naturally inferior to men and are expected to be passive and domestic. Regarding her potential audience, educated men, as “conservative,” Woolf attempts to persuade them that social discouragement is the real cause of the lack of great female writers without irritating them by proposing “radical” arguments.
Professions for Women At the beginning of the 19th century, ideas of the roles of men and women has taken a turn as women take a stand to encourage other women to overcome obstacles that society’s perspectives of gender roles confine them in. Women’s conflict to find their voice during this time struggle has taken a turn in the evolving male-dominated society. An English writer, Virginia Woolf, delivered her speech “Professions for Women”, published in 1931 for the National Society for Women’s Service, and she argues that it is important for women stand up for themselves and allow their imagination to flow despite society’s oppression. Woolf begins with building her credibility with personal anecdotes, expresses the phantoms that limit women’s
This proved when the narrator’s mother always tried to get the narrator to do work that appropriate for a lady instead of outside work, however it was not something that she enjoyed. The narrator also was not considered of real helper to her father because she was a female. This proved when her father introduced the narrator as ‘his new hired hand’ to a salesman, he replied, “I thought it was only a girl” (line 76, paragraph 10).This shows how the society view girl as ‘just a girl’ at that time and it means that their roles are not really significant in the society. As being said by Alexander Pope (1688-1744), “Most women have no character at all.” (Bressler, C.E., 2011).
With that purpose in mind, she revises some aspects of women’s place/absence in history, society, and literature and mixed it with some fiction in order to explain how she came to adopt that thesis. For example, she asks herself what would have happened if Shakespeare had had a sister
One of the most significant works of feminist literary criticism, Virginia Woolf’s “A Room of One`s Own”, explores both historical and contemporary literature written by women. Spending a day in the British Library, the narrator is disappointed that there are not enough books written by or even about women. Motivated by this lack of women’s literature and data about their lives, she decides to use her imagination and come up with her own characters and stories. After creating a tragic, but extraordinary gifted figure of Shakespeare’s sister and reflecting on the works of crucial 19th century women authors, the narrator moves on to the books by her contemporaries. So far, women were deprived of their own literary history, but now this heritage is starting to appear.
Each sex has its’ specialty, both sexes must be equal; people in general must be equal. By studying Shakespeare and by going deeper through analyzing and getting preoccupied with, we learn how to “brainstorm” the people, the culture and the ethics of that era and create opinions and thoughts about those centuries. In my opinion, Shakespeare is a modern, a contemporary artist and writer of his era who “sends” and passes messages through his plays. Each one of us, the readers and learners of Shakespeare, creates a special, unique opinion about Shakespeare and literature in general. We do not all think in the same way, people are unique.