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Date of Award
Michael . Scrivener
READING ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING’S POETRY IN TERMS OF SPIRITUALITY AND FEMINISM
Advisor: Prof. Michael Scrivener
Degree: Doctor of Philosophy
Elizabeth Barrett Browning is one of the most important female writers of the Victorian era. As a poet, she explored various societal issues such as slavery and the challenges of romantic love in her works. However, two of the most interesting themes in many of her poems are spirituality and feminism. The dissertation, therefore, examined the intersection of feminism and spirituality in the works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning to determine how effectively she addressed women’s issues in these poems. The Seraphim, The Virgin Mary to the Child Jesus, A Drama of Exile, and Aurora Leigh have been explored in the study to determine the extent to which the poet’s spirituality influenced her views on feminism and, thus, her ability to explore the challenges that women faced in society. The findings of this research study show that Elizabeth Barrett Browning considered women to be a gender that was constantly oppressed by a patriarchal society that sought to elevate the abilities of men and their position in society while overlooking the capabilities of women. Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote several poems that aimed to demonstrate that women were capable of pursuing various careers and excelling in them just in the same manner as men. The poet also used the intersection of religion and feminism to argue against the use of religion to portray women as inferior to men. The study shows that Barrett Browning’s religiosity did not only make her a better writer but also enabled her to justify her desire to have a society in which women have the opportunity to pursue various career goals and excel in them. The intersection of spirituality and feminism in her poems, therefore, enabled her to effectively examine women’s issues in society.
Mohammad, Nadia, "Reading Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Poetry In Terms Of Spirituality And Feminism" (2019). Wayne State University Dissertations. 2366.