2018, Volume 1, Issue 25, Pages 47-60
AbstractThe Greeks have a certain authority, for they are the source of the Western traditions of poetry, philosophy, and science. The figure of Penelope in the Homeric epic can be seen as a symbol not only for woman’s trials in general but also for the trials of the woman artist in a man’s world. This study explores the penelopean myth as ideological tool of patriarchal system and it argues that gender stereotypes set in Greek myths have been recreated later by the modern American poet, Edna St. Vincent Millay. Encouraged by the feminist movement, Millay revised and rewrote the penelopean myth highlighting the gender stereotyping as an important feature in her poems, ‘‘The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver,’’ and ‘‘An Ancient Gesture.’’
The New Penelopean Poetics: A Feminist Reassessment of the Victimization of Women in Edna St. Vincent Millay’s ‘‘The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver’’ and ‘‘An Ancient Gesture’’
I, being born a woman and distressed
By all the needs and notions of my kind,
Am urged by your propinquity to find
Your person fair, and feel a certain zest.
Millay’s ‘‘I Being Born a Woman and Distressed,’’(from The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver, 1923).
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