This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Transformation Of The Role Of Women Within Victorian Poetry

1848 words - 7 pages


The role of women during the Victorian Era has been a prevalent topic over the course of the semester. Women during that time had limited rights, and the rights they did have were equivalent to that of children. Domesticity, caring for their husband and children was the focus of their livelihood. As England continued to grow and industrialize, women became more marginalized, while men continued to grow into dominant members of society, this is known as the notion of separate spheres. The notion of separate spheres was not limited to the role women and men had in the home, but extended into the streets and the workplace. Men were seen as formidable, intellectual, and the governing sex; whereas, women on the other hand, were disregarded as emotionally unstable, dominated by their sexuality, and submissive to men’s wants and desires. Women were not only given limited rights to the roles they had in society, but also were not given the right to choose whom they wanted to marry. A majority of women had no other option but to marry as a way to maintain their livelihood, unless they were members of high social standings. Additionally, the rights of a woman were again lessened after she wed. The moment a woman married, she automatically became the property of her husband. The limited rights she had before were stripped away: her property, identity, and value ceased to exist the moment she became the helpmate to a man. The ideology of the role women played did not limit itself to the confines of society, but appeared within a larger part of the literature during that time. Notably in the poetry, which was a substantial component during the Victorian Era. Unlike the work of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s, Aurora Leigh, and Emily Bronte’s “The Prisoner”, a majority of the women depicted in Victorian poetry were undervalued by the men depicting them through their writing. Throughout this essay, I will demonstrate the differences between the way women were depicted in Victorian Poetry, by comparing and contrasting the work of Coventry Patmore’s “The Angel in the House” to Robert Browning’s “Porphyria’s Lover”, and George Meredith’s “Modern Love”, as a way to depict the transformative state that poetry has undergone. In Patmore’s “The Angel in the House” the woman is illustrated as a marginalized character, compared to the works of Browning and Meredith where the women are seen as trivialized beings; however, they aren’t as powerless and marginalized as they seem, which will reveal a reversal in gender roles during a time when women seemed to not have any authority.
Coventry Patmore “The Angel in the House”
Coventry Patmore’s “The Angel in the House” validates the role women were expected to play in the Victorian Era. As presented in the following line: “Man must be pleased; but him to please is a woman’s pleasure,” Patmore implies that a man’s happiness is what pleases a woman the most (“The Angel in the House” handout). The title...

Find Another Essay On The Transformation of the Role of Women Within Victorian Poetry

The Role of Women Essay

981 words - 4 pages Women in Western Europe and Japan compare and contrast religiously, politically, and economically. Religiously, women in Western Europe were better off with the advantage of becoming a nun than women in Japan were who lost their role in Buddhist and Shintu rituals. Politically, feminist thinkers were allowing women to have a greater say politically but there were fewer female rulers or regents in Europe. Japan who had female empresses prior to

Role of poetry of the Heian Period

1690 words - 7 pages communicative role in this well-known work. The Tosa nikki, while known as being the first fictional diary in traditional Japanese literature, also contains a significant amount of poems within the prose text. While the role of poetry within the Tosa nikki is less central than that in Ise monogatari, it seems to be of more importance than in Taketori monogatari. It appears as if the author, Ki no Tsurayuki, weaved these poems within his

The Life of Women in the Victorian Age

1202 words - 5 pages Victorian age is seen as a period of questioning of a woman’s traditional role in society as established by nature and religious tradition. These questions and striving for more independent roles in society from the norm led to the arrival of a much - debated phenomenon called the “New Women” (Besant 1583). Although Victorians started bringing forth the questions about what really was a women’s status in society and their traditional roles as

The representation of women through poetry

1017 words - 4 pages depicts the idealised hourglass physique of a woman, despite the apparent difficulty in breathing and inability to walk comfortably. The use of the plosive sound 'k' in 'brocaded' further creates an uneasy feeling of jerky stops and starts, which is likewise accentuated by the action of 'tripping', adding to the depth of harsh feeling. This discomfort stems from the suppression of women in the Victorian age, symbolised through the predictable nature

Images of Victorian Women by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood

1169 words - 5 pages of Urbino. Instead, later Pre-Raphaelite art focussed on the harsh lives of women during the Victorian Era. Women were confined by strict gender roles and faced severe repercussions for any action deemed by society to be undesirable, such as walking through the streets unchaperoned or having sexual relations outside of marriage. Through their art, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood depicted stereotypical views of women. Women are frequently

The Role of Spartan Women

1726 words - 7 pages Unlike other Greek city states, women played an integral role in Spartan society as they were the backbone of the Spartan economic system of inheritance and marriage dowry and they were relied upon to fulfill their main responsibility of producing Spartan warrior sons. These principle economic systems affected wealth distribution among Spartan citizens especially among the Spartan elite class. Spartan women led a completely different life than

The Changing Role of Women

1549 words - 7 pages women played very important roles in World War II, and thus the war played a major part in advancing their empowerment. World War II brought many positive changes to the role of women within the United States, and allowed them to show the world that they were truly capable of doing much more than believed possible during those times. From bravely taking over jobs designed for men, to the aiding soldiers in battle fields, these valiant women were

The Chrysalids - Role of Women

786 words - 3 pages ' reproducton. Most women in the novel play the role of bystanders and supporters of their husbands. In Waknuk, the women don't dare to oppose the laws of anti-mutation as they fear the punishment they might receive from God or the society itself. They have to follow the customs of Waknuk, whether they agree with it or not. An example would be Sophie's mother, Mary Wender. Even though her daughter is a deviation and she is supposed to unhappy

Hamlet- The Role Of Women

1100 words - 4 pages higher position in the play. Such as the title of the book Hamlet who is also the prince in the play. Most of the main characters in the play are men. The role of the women in the play existed in all the characters in the play. Women were portrayed as slow, weak, neurotic characters who were easily led astray and were easily controlled. Maybe Shakespear did not believe in women as strong characters due to the age he lived in but, now in the year 2000 this is un heard of.

The Role of Chinese Women

2219 words - 9 pages The Role of Chinese Women China, located in East Asia, is the third largest country by area and the largest country by population in the world. While China has one-fifth of the world’s total population, and it also has one of the earliest civilizations, dating back to some 5000 years ago. China is often distinguished for its technological advances and intelligence, but in the early 20th century, Chinese society was far from perfect

Personal Narrative - The Role of God in My Personal Transformation

1755 words - 7 pages Personal Narrative - The Role of God in My Personal Transformation While growing up nearly every child feels the need to be somebody, to figure out his identity. Most children attempt to find acceptance from their peers by the way they dress, the music to which they listen, the people with whom they hang out, the parties they attend, or the other activities in which they participate. While I never really felt a strong need to please others

Similar Essays

Poetry Styles Of The Victorian Period

1185 words - 5 pages it caused" (857). Thirdly, the Victorian Period brought about the Pre-Raphaelites literature. Pre-Raphaelites didn't accept "real" life and instead found spiritual inspiration in "medieval Italian art, . . . before the time of the painter Raphael (1483-1520)" (858). The Victorian Period of literature brought about many poets and poems. The poetry of the Victorian Period mostly dealt with Realism and Naturalism. Prominant poets of the time period

The Role Of Religion In Victorian Britain

1528 words - 6 pages What role did religion play in Victorian society?As established by Henry VIII in 1550 to distance himself from the Catholic Church and the Pope (and make it possible for him to divorce his first wife, Catherine of Aragon), the official religion of England at the beginning of the Victorian period, circa 1850, was that of the Anglican Church, known as the Church of England. Nonetheless, there were other religions that were quite important in the

Women And Men Of The Victorian Era

1772 words - 7 pages within subservient working positions so that the chances of them overpowering or challenging men in the workplace or at home was nonexistent. The opportunity for women to further their education outside of the home and express themselves artistically was extremely rare during the Victorian era. The exposure Frances Power Cobbe had to a life outside of her maternal and spousal obligations would fuel other women to protest the prejudice men held

New Women Of The Victorian Era

1445 words - 6 pages By: Teddy Ruxpin 13MAY98 “New Women” of the Victorian Era The Victorian era brought about many changes throughout Great Britain. Man was searching for new avenues of enlightenment. The quest for knowledge and understanding became an acceptable practice throughout much of the scientific community. It was becoming accepted, and in many ways expected, for people to search for knowledge. Philosophy, the search for truth, was becoming a more