Mary Wroth, recently evaluated as 'the most prolific, most self-conscious, and most impressive female author of the Jacobean era', and her poems have already drawn academic attentions from the Korean scholars. Judging that her play also deserves serio ...
Mary Wroth, recently evaluated as 'the most prolific, most self-conscious, and most impressive female author of the Jacobean era', and her poems have already drawn academic attentions from the Korean scholars. Judging that her play also deserves serious attention, this paper aims to explore her play, Love's Victory, in the aspect of the pastoral drama by a feminist writer who is differentiated from the male writers and who attempts to subvert the male-dominated literary genre and to construct the female community in her Arcadia.
Although Wroth has been frequently illuminated as one of the Sidney members, recent criticism provokes new perspectives on her literary works, and some critics even place her as a writer as competent as Shakespeare beyond the boundary of a woman writer. However, this paper stands to illuminate her and her works in the light of a woman writer.
Introduction part contains several critical attitudes toward Wroth and Love's Victory. Part II "Wroth's Arcadia: a pursuit for female community" mainly discusses Venus and Silvesta. Wroth puts her desire and her life itself in her main female characters, with them functioning as her 'alter ego', and containing her personal aspects: Venus as a being who can exercise the supreme power that the writer has to her characters, and who can bring a happy ending to the lovers that Wroth herself anticipated concerning her clandestine love and desire; Musella as a being who represents Wroth's love, unacknowledged in her society, sharing her desire to achieve it in this real world; Silvesta as a being who shares Wroth's single life as a widow. Part III "the differentiated writing strategy of Mary Wroth as a woman writer" explores issues such as wooing, forced marriage, woman's honor, and the unique aspects of the play differentiated from other male writers. Finally, conclusion part attempts to evaluate historical significances of Mary Wroth and her play, Love's Victory.
In Love's Victory, Wroth, as a woman writer, provides an arena where a female figureㅡVenusㅡcan exercise the supreme power, which was quite impossible for her contemporary females; demonstrates women's equal capabilities by highlighting Silvesta's choices of friendship prior to love, and a single, chaste life instead of marriage. Using the literary form of a pastoral drama, Wroth achieves her Arcadia as one where female solidarity is conspicuous and ideal female community, based on mutual understanding, can be possible. Wroth deserves her place as a significant Renaissance female writer who constantly experimented literary forms and made contributions in the history of English literature.