How Far Do You Agree with the Idea That Donne Is a Misogynist and Webster an Early Feminist?

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How far do you agree with the idea that Donne is a misogynist and Webster an early feminist? It can be argued that the poet John Donne is a misogynist and John Webster was an early feminist from parts of their work, although it can be interpreted in different ways. In ‘The Duchess of Malfi’ Webster has presented the Duchess as a very strong and independent woman. The Duchess is the main character in the play and Webster has done this to emphasise her importance and independence in the play. Here it can be argued that he is a feminist because he has made a woman the main character instead of the stereotypically strong and brave male as the main character. The marriage scene is a very important scene in the play. This is where we see the Duchess being very controlling and powerful and Antonio as a weaker and shy character. Donne could be seen as a feminist here because he is making the woman take control instead of having the male dominate everything, as in that time period they usually did. Women were seen as a lower rank than men and so that’s why the Duchess being the strong and powerful main character is significant. She is shown taking control in Act 1, Scene 1 when she is with Antonio. It is during the marriage scene and she says, “I did vow never to part with it, But to my second husband”. This could show Webster as a feminist because she is the one doing the chasing after Antonio and all of the work to get him to marry her, rather than him doing it, like the typical man would. She is also being very forward and confident and Webster has made her the most important person in the scene. In the poem “The Sun Rising” Donne is shown in a different light. He is using the private vs the secular world here in order to show his passion for the woman he is with. This poem by Donne could be used to show that he wasn’t a misogynist because he wrote passionately about
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