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What is the main argument, topic or symbolic meaning of "What if Shakespeare Had...

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lamichelle55 | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 11, 2008 at 12:27 PM via web

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What is the main argument, topic or symbolic meaning of "What if Shakespeare Had Had a Sister?" by Virginia Woolf?

I need to write an argument paper in reference to this essay and wasn't able to find a summary on it to get an idea of what's the main topic, argument ot symbolic meaning about it, thanks.

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merehughes | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

Posted March 20, 2008 at 8:59 PM (Answer #1)

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The point of Virginia Woolf's essay is to question the role of a female writer's in society.  This is a common theme in many of her essays.  She poses this question to ask the reader to consider the idea of the world's greatest writer having a sister who might have been similarly gifted.  Had he had a sister who was as brilliant and as talented, the world would still have never known it due to the role of women at the time. So she is asking the reader to consider women writers of her time and suggesting that they not be dismissed as Shakespeare's sister would have been.  She plants the idea that the world's next great writer might be a woman.

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