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Katherine Philips, Aphra Behn, and Sylvia Plath: “a passionate journey” towards “a revolution in female manners”

Author(s): Giada Cacciavilni

Journal: Coolabah
ISSN 1988-5946

Volume: 4;
Start page: 3;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: Poetry | Katherine Philips | Aphra Behn | Sylvia Plath

Katherine Philips, Aphra Behn, and Sylvia Plath were artists whostruggled during their lives to express their thoughts and ideas. In addition to this, beingwomen, they found it hard to be recognised as writers and their fight against socialconventions and norms is now considered of huge importance since they managed toopen doors for women that came after them. Katherine Philips started a femininerevolution which was taken over by Aphra Behn, and by Sylvia Plath about threecenturies later. The three authors rebelled against the feminine mystique of their timeand the subsequent domestification of women. In addition to this, they refused to bemen’s shadows and raised a new awareness of women as active subjects that couldfinally use their voices to express themselves. The aim of this essay is to explore andinterpret the ways in which these three women managed to subvert the prescribed rolethat society had in store for them by touching on different topics related to gender andthe relationship between men and women. I will focus on their outlook on marriage andon women’s roles in society.
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