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The Twentieth Harangue from Les Femmes Illustres, ou, Les Harangues Héroïques

The Twentieth Harangue from Les Femmes Illustres, ou, Les Harangues Héroïques

Chapter:
(p.137) The Twentieth Harangue from Les Femmes Illustres, ou, Les Harangues Héroïques
Source:
The Story of Sapho
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226144009.003.0003

This chapter presents the translation of an oration or harangue from Scudéry's collection Les femmes illustres; ou, Les harangues héroïques (1642). In this harangue from Sapho to Erinne, the twentieth and final one of the volume, Sapho extols the talents and abilities of women and exhorts Erinne to write. Linked to the so-called de claribus tradition proclaiming women's achievements and to the rhetorical exercises on a topic (should a man marry?), the harangue debates the question, should a woman write? Sapho argues that women should not be defined by beauty, which is fleeting, but advocates their participation and even superiority in the study of arts and letters.

Keywords:   oration, harangue, Madeleine de Scudéry, women, writing, Erinne

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