Chapter

The Twentieth Harangue from <i>Les Femmes Illustres, ou, Les Harangues Héroïques</i>

in The Story of Sapho

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2003 | ISBN: 9780226143989
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226144009 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226144009.003.0003
The Twentieth Harangue from Les Femmes Illustres, ou, Les Harangues Héroïques

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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

Chapter.  3373 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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