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A Careful Complaint By Elizabeth Cary And Isabella Whitney

Decent Essays
Early women writers received a lot of pushback for sharing their creativity with the world. Men feared these revolutionary women because they were doing the very thing that traditional roles impeded; these women were creating a space in society for themselves and others alike. Writing gave them the power to communicate, whether it be about their daily hardships, societal grievances, or aspirations. The platform women established through their writing allowed them to preserve a record of the mistakes they made and turn them into stories that would inspire other women to make better choices. With their writing, authors, Elizabeth Cary and Isabella Whitney motivate women to put themselves first so that they are not remembered as simply someone’s sister or someone who conforms to the desires of others. Much of the information that is known about Isabella Whitney has been gleaned from her…show more content…
Unlike Whitney, many women of her time were defined by their relationships with men, such as Dido, Queen of Carthage who is mostly known for her relationship with Aeneas. In an effort to encourage women to build a legacy for themselves beyond their associations with men Whitney issues “A Careful Complaint” to police women for investing their emotional energy into unworthy suitors rather than something more productive. Within the poem, Whitney condemns Dido for crying over a man who only brought despair into her life and asks her to replace those sorrows with sorrow for Whitney’s ailments. Whitney never reveals what is causing her suffering but she describes it in a manner that parallels it with Aeneas’ role in Dido’s life, “For Fortune fell converted hath / my health to heaps of pain” (19-20). In this line, she directs
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