Examination of Women's Friendships through an Analysis of Katherine Philips' Friendship's Mystery

Examination of Women's Friendships through an Analysis of Katherine Philips' Friendship's Mystery

Length: 4227 words (12.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Examination of Women's Friendships through an Analysis of Katherine Philips' Friendship's Mystery:

To My Dearest Lucasia



When readers reflect on the poetry of the seventeenth century, poets such as John Donne and the

Metaphysicals, Jonson and the Cavaliers, and John Milton often come to mind. The poetry crosses over

various boundaries of Neoplatonic, Ovidian, and Petrarchan forms, for example, often with many

references to women filling the lines. Described as helpless creatures, seventeenth century women were

often shut out from all possibilities of power, and they were generalized into four categories: virgins,

women to be married, married, and widowed. In the state of marriage, women were forced to be the

submissive, powerless objects of their husbands. Equality and balance within their marriages were of no

concern to men of the seventeenth century. Out of the oppressive setting of the seventeenth century

arose very few women poets; however, Katherine Philips not only became a poet, but she also displayed

her will to survive by responding to the negativity that surrounded the lives of females, especially the

oppression of women in marriages. By focusing on the importance of friendships between women

Philips used her poetry, specifically "Friendship's Mystery: To My Dearest Lucasia," as an outlet to

critique the misogyny and misrepresentations of marriages put forth by male poets, such as John Donne,

and the oppressive social settings of the seventeenth century.



In order to better understand Philip's critique of Donne within the lines of her poetry, a reading

of twentieth century critic Adrienne Rich's essay "When We Dead Awaken: Writing for Re-Vision" ...


... middle of paper ...


...Company, 2000.

Donne, John. "The Canonization." Abrams 1240-1241.

Donne, John. "The Relic." Abrams 1253-1254.

Donne, John. "The Sun Rising." Abrams 1239.

Hageman, Elizabeth H. "The Matchless Orinda: Katherine Philips." Women Writers of the Renaissance

Reformation. Georgia, 1987.

Mendelson, Sara and Patricia Crawford. Women in Early Modern England 1550-1720. New York:

Oxford University Press, 1998.

Philips, Katherine. "Friendship's Mystery: To My Dearest Lucasia."

Souers, Philips Webster. The Matchless Orinda. London: Oxford University Press, 1931.

Rich, Adrienne. "When We Dead Awaken: Writing for Re-vision." On Lies, Secrets, and Silence. New

York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1979. 33-49.

Wiesner, Merry E. Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe. New York: Cambridge, 1993.

Norton Topics Online: www. wwnorton.com/nael

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Relationship Between Katherine and Zebra in Anchee Min's Novel, Katherine

- The Relationship Between Katherine and Zebra in Anchee Min's Novel, Katherine Anchee Min, a Chinese novelist, has written many books about life in China revolving around the Cultural Revolution, including her autobiography Red Azalea. In her novel Katherine (1995), readers are exposed to life after the Cultural Revolution. The story focuses on two bold characters—Katherine and Zebra. Katherine, an American schoolteacher, comes to China to teach English to the younger generation. Her western ideology—free spirit, free will, and her stylish appearance--influences her students to think differently about the ways they live....   [tags: Katherine]

Free Essays
671 words (1.9 pages)

Mystery And The Mystery Essay

- What is mystery. Mystery is like a puzzle. Just like a puzzle, an intriguing mystery causes the audience to attempt to put together all the pieces of the story. Eventually, piece by piece the puzzle (mystery) starts coming together, till the last piece is intact. Once the last piece falls into place, the puzzle or mystery becomes clear, and the problem is solved. Mystery is everywhere in our lives and plays a big role in our society. There are many different platforms in which mystery is displayed....   [tags: Crime fiction, Detective fiction, Mystery fiction]

Powerful Essays
1776 words (5.1 pages)

Friendship Through The Lense Of Philosophy And Philosophers Essay examples

- In studying friendship through the lense of philosophy and philosophers, specifically Aristotle and Grunebaum, there’s been a lot of discussion about the ‘how’s and ‘what’s and ‘why’s of friendship-- what is a perfect friendship, and what is it based on. Why are friendships that focus on pleasantness or usefulness imperfect. Why do we feel obligations to our friends that we don’t feel to other people. We’ve had these questions answered-- a perfect friendship is, according to Aristotle, one based on the ‘virtuous’ qualities of both people-- ‘virtuous’, in this context, meaning the balance, the middle ground between excess and deficit....   [tags: Friendship, Virtue, Interpersonal relationship]

Powerful Essays
750 words (2.1 pages)

Friendship Essay : Friendship And Friendship

- Friendship and Loyalty Friendship: the laws of attraction: the conventional wisdom is that we choose friends because of who they are. But it turns out that we actually love them because of the way they support who we are. Everyone must have one best friend who stick with them at any circumstance when the rest are so busy to hear from their friends, or too busy to share the problem. Since people are getting older, they tend to have less and less friends. But, the best friendship is the most precious’s gift that people can have rather than a ton of fake friends, who are not really true relationshion....   [tags: Friendship, Interpersonal relationship, Love]

Powerful Essays
817 words (2.3 pages)

Friendship Between Friendship And Friendship Essay

- I would define friendship as complete trust and love between two people. Many people believe that this kind of behavior is reciprocated between two individuals without any expectations. A friend is someone who also provides you with support and whom you can rely on to celebrate special moments with. A friend also comes with many great attributes; such as loyalty, honesty, compassion, trust, and morality. Today’s friend is viewed as someone who shares happiness, common values, history, and equality with another....   [tags: Friendship, Virtue, Interpersonal relationship]

Powerful Essays
1351 words (3.9 pages)

Friendship Through the Years Essay

- Friendship Through the Years Two sets of twins live in the house cattycorner to mine. All four are girls, and all four are in diapers. The oldest set of twins, Michelle and Caitlin, are my age, and we quickly become playmates. Caitlin has striking red hair that drapes the bottom of her shoulder blades. She is so outgoing she would chat with a hobo on the street if her mother were not there to stop her. Michelle, on the other hand, is quieter and more reserved. She is an inch or two shorter than the kids her age, and lacks the confidence that dominates her sister's personality....   [tags: Friendship Essay Personal Narrative]

Free Essays
1816 words (5.2 pages)

Essay on Katherine Mansfield's Bliss

- Katherine Mansfield's "Bliss" Katherine Mansfield¡¦s short story Bliss is filled with a lot of underlying mean-ings and themes. There are as well many symbols that Mansfield uses and among those the pear tree is an important one. In this essay I will prove that the pear tree is both a symbol for for Bertha and her life and the awakening of her sexuality. First I will sketch on the symbolic meanings of a pear and a tree as they are described in symbolic books and I will then focus on the pear tree in relation to Ber-tha throughout the story....   [tags: Katherine Mansfield Bliss Essays]

Powerful Essays
1562 words (4.5 pages)

Essay on Friendship

- Friends "Friends have a unique loyalty to one another. This loyalty comes not through a sense of duty in the way one may show loyalty to family, kinsfolk or country. Theirs is born out of love, trust and respect. Nurtured on care and understanding. A perfect loyalty that will survive every hardship and endure the rigorous test of time." --Stuart and Linda Macfarlane-- The Love Between Friends, a Helen Exley gift book Friends, some are just acquaintances, others I truly care about. A select few of my friends have become like brothers and sisters....   [tags: Friendship Essay]

Powerful Essays
1409 words (4 pages)

Essay on Friendship

- Friendship I jumped into my bed, exhausted from my late-night babysitting job. It was past midnight, and I was looking forward to sleeping since I had to get up for work in about eight hours. Normally, I would have pulled my big, fluffy down comforter up to my chin right away, but my body felt as if it were on fire with fever. A bad cold had hit me, just as it always does during the mid-spring season. I could hardly breathe, and my head was pounding. I tossed and turned until I finally fell asleep about an hour later....   [tags: Friendship Essay]

Free Essays
1032 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on Friendship

- Everyone is affected by certain events or individuals that greatly change their life. Many people have influenced me during my 21 years of my life, but I believe that the person that has influenced my life the most is a wonderful girl by the name of Lindsay Schiller. In the year that I have known her, she has become one of my best friends, and has helped to transform me from a lonely computer nerd into a happy college student with a decent social life. Popular wisdom has it that, "You judge a man by his friends." Earlier in my life, that would have been difficult, because my father was a high school football coach, and it seemed as though every year I was moving to a new s...   [tags: Friendship Essay]

Powerful Essays
874 words (2.5 pages)