Abstract or Introduction
In the course of this paper, Anne Bradstreet's poems “In Honor of that High and Mighty Princess Queen Elizabeth of Happy Memory” and “The Prologue” will serve as a medium to demonstrate the writer’s view on the way women were portrayed. In the Puritan society of the 17th century America women occupied a special role and had only limited room for action. The notion of the submissive “Puritan Goodwife” was the common picture given by society by which married women should live and behave. As a result, this also meant that women were not allowed to participate in public affairs. Furthermore, they were not seen as equal to men but rather as appendages, because they had to submit to their husbands as these had to submit to God. Anne Bradstreet however, who was one of the first female Puritan poets, shows in her works that she does not completely go along with the image of women which was given by Puritan society.
The following lines are an excerpt out of Anne Bradstreet’s poem “The Prologue”: From schoolboy’s tongue no rhet’ric we expect, Nor yet a sweet consort from broken strings, Nor perfect beauty where’s a main defect: My foolish, broken, blemished Muse so sings, And this to mend, alas, no art is able, ‘Cause nature made it so irreparable. Although the Puritan poet claims in “The Prologue” (1650) that women have a “main defect” in the domain of literature which is even “. . . irreparable”, she demonstrates by her own contradictory way of writing that she is aware that there are women who can actually do equal to men. Anne Bradstreet thus uses the poetic form as an instrument of hidden critique against the common picture of women in Puritan society, who were deeply dependent on the male sex.
- Quote paper
- Anonymous, 2015, Anne Bradstreet’s poetry as a medium to express her personal view on women’s confines in Puritan society, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/502993