Amazons and the “space of possibility” in Swetnam the Woman-Hater

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In 1615, Joseph Swetnam published an anti-feminist tract entitled The Arraignment of Lewd, Idle, Froward, and Unconstant Women that attracted the attention of numerous proto-feminist writers who rose to the defense of women. Rachel Speght, Esther Sowernam and Constantia Munda published pamphlets criticizing Swetnam’s arguments and defending feminine virtues. One of the responses to Swetnam’s misogynistic pamphlet was the 1620 anonymous play Swetnam the Woman-Hater Arraigned by Women. This Jacobean play is obscure now, although it was very popular when first performed. There has been very little research conducted on it, try to find more than fifteen scholarly articles on it, I dare you. However, if even one person is interested in learning more about Jacobean drama, you’ve come to the right place. Continue reading