Romanticism: Women and Realism in the poetry of William Wordsworth

The exotic, oriental, mystic and ‘Other’ qualities of Romanticism allow for the erotic and sexualised undertones of women in an escapist vein. When we invert this model, grounded in realist concerns, the naturalistic poetry of William Wordsworth appears sympathetic to the cause of women in their adversity. Critics such as Katharine Merrill have agreed that … Continue reading Romanticism: Women and Realism in the poetry of William Wordsworth

Romanticism: Women and Sexuality in ‘Christabel’ by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) frames Christabel (1816) within Gothicism, extending on the occult forces of the “Other” embodied by women. Coleridge had written on the presentation of female characters in Gothic literature stating that they were either models of ‘trembling innocence’ or of ‘shameless harlotry’[1]. This statement correlates with a view within the sphere of … Continue reading Romanticism: Women and Sexuality in ‘Christabel’ by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The Yellow Wallpaper: Hysteria, Rest Cures & Gender Theory

Throughout Victorian culture, ‘The angel in the house’ works as a one-dimensional character identity, however, in ‘The Yellow Paper’ Charlotte Perkins Gilman chooses to write about a 19th century woman who overtly experiences a crisis of the self and case of conflicted identity. This becomes evident at first through the division of the ‘rational’ which … Continue reading The Yellow Wallpaper: Hysteria, Rest Cures & Gender Theory

Shakespearean Drama: Analysis of William Shakespeare’s Richard III, Act I Scene 2

Richard III stands as a historical play in the Shakespearean canon: Playwright William Shakespeare (1564-1616) worked this particular episode circa 1592 in a saga pertaining to the ‘Tudor Myth’[1]. Belonging to the First Folio, Richard III closes a tetralogy and charts the ambitions of historical figure King Richard III of England (1452-1485). As part of … Continue reading Shakespearean Drama: Analysis of William Shakespeare’s Richard III, Act I Scene 2

The Yellow Wallpaper: Fear, The Uncanny & The Female Gothic

'The Yellow Wallpaper' by Charlotte Perkins Gilman overturns the reader's expectations of a 19th century wife and mother. The narrator's 'descent' into madness is an evocative commentary on the powers that be - a troubling psychosis which reads as an early psychological horror story. In the first part of this series, we referred to Virginia Woolf … Continue reading The Yellow Wallpaper: Fear, The Uncanny & The Female Gothic

Romanticism: Women and Sexuality in ‘Kubla Khan’ by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) writes Kubla Khan (1816) in a mode of escapism which was compatible with the Romantic attitude in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Kubla Khan is composed with allusions to the exotic, foreign and erotic, all which are elements of the poem’s pervading Orientalism. Drawing on connotations of “Otherness”, the … Continue reading Romanticism: Women and Sexuality in ‘Kubla Khan’ by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Toxic Renaissance Relationships in Literature: Beatrice-Joanna and De Flores (The Changeling) and Doctor Faustus and Mephistopheles (Doctor Faustus)

Doctor Faustus (c. 1592) by Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593) and The Changeling (c. 1622) by Thomas Middleton (1580-1627) and William Rowley (c. 1585-1626) are concerned with human nature, gulling and sin. The relationship’s of Beatrice-Joanna and De Flores in The Changeling and Doctor Faustus and Mephistopheles in Doctor Faustus are founded on arrangements which entail the … Continue reading Toxic Renaissance Relationships in Literature: Beatrice-Joanna and De Flores (The Changeling) and Doctor Faustus and Mephistopheles (Doctor Faustus)

Women’s Literature: Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper – Killing the Angel in the House (1)

Virginia Woolf’s instruction for the woman writer to kill the ‘Angel in the House’ underpinned the crux of her argument Professions for Women delivered in 1942 to the Women’s Service League. American writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ predates the essays of Woolf in the 20th century, contemporary to the ‘Angel in the House’ … Continue reading Women’s Literature: Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper – Killing the Angel in the House (1)