Katherine Philips, Aphra Behn, and Sylvia Plath: “a passionate journey” towards “a revolution in female manners”

Giada Cacciavilni


Katherine Philips, Aphra Behn, and Sylvia Plath were artists who struggled during their lives to express their thoughts and ideas. In addition to this, being women, they found it hard to be recognised as writers and their fight against social conventions and norms is now considered of huge importance since they managed to open doors for women that came after them. Katherine Philips started a feminine revolution which was taken over by Aphra Behn, and by Sylvia Plath about three centuries later. The three authors rebelled against the feminine mystique of their time and the subsequent domestification of women. In addition to this, they refused to be men’s shadows and raised a new awareness of women as active subjects that could finally use their voices to express themselves. The aim of this essay is to explore and interpret the ways in which these three women managed to subvert the prescribed role that society had in store for them by touching on different topics related to gender and the relationship between men and women. I will focus on their outlook on marriage and on women’s roles in society.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1344/co201043%20-%208


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