What was Alexander Pope's view of women? Was he a mysognist like Shakespeare?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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There is a difference between being a misogynist as an individual and having the normal attitudes about gender roles within a society in which those roles are assumed to be distinct. We have no evidence that Shakespeare was a misogynist. He has many admirable and powerful and many evil characters of both genders.

It's true that Shakespeare's character Hamlet says:

Heaven and earth,
Must I remember? Why, she would hang on him
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on, and yet, within a month—
Let me not think on't—Frailty, thy name is woman!—

But this isn't a criticism in Shakespearee's own voice of all women, but rather Hamlet's reaction to his mother's remarriage to the murderer of his father.

Alexander Pope does have slightly more misogynistic tendencies, in part due to his own physical deformity making him somewhat unattractive. His "Rape of the Lock" makes fun of men and women equally though, and the targets of his most harsh satire were men (e.g. his Dunciad.)


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