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A closed reading on: "The Reasons that Induced Dr. S to Write a Poem Called the Lady's Dressing Room" Jade Leming
Transcript of A closed reading on: "The Reasons that Induced Dr. S to Write a Poem Called the Lady's Dressing Room" Jade Leming
Lady Montagu was born in May 1689 and died on August 1762.
She was the wife of the British ambassador to Turkey
She is well-known for her letters that write about her travels to the Ottoman Empire.
Lady Montagu was famous for writing about women's "role" in society and breaking that definition.
She was also an advocate for smallpox vaccinations in Britain.
Form and Structure
This poem is written in AABBCCDD form. It forms rhyming couplets using end rhymes.
It is meant to be a satire to Swift's poem.
It is a closed poem and retains regular rhyme and meter.
It consists of 101 lines.
This poem is a narrative poem
Lady M. uses punctuation by writing with commas and periods.
The author uses pretty simple language and uses neutral diction.
She uses harsh words since her poem is a response and is suppose to be slandering.
There are many tones in this poem like: bitterness, condescending, and satirical to name a few.
Examining the Work
The reverend lover with surprise
Peeps in her bubbies,° and her eyes,
And kisses both, and tries—and tries.
The evening in this hellish
Beside his guineas thrown
Provoked the priest to that
He swore, “The fault is not in
Your damned close
so near my
Would make a Hercules as
As any beau that you can
The poem's themes are feminism and misogyny.
Lady Montagu stands up for her gender in this poem. She creates a back story for Swift and blames his "problems" with women on Swift himself instead of women as a whole.
The Reasons that Induced Dr S to write a Poem called
The Lady's Dressing Room.
Portrait of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689-1762)
The Doctor and a prostitute named Betty
Narrator telling the audience events
Lady M. wrote this poem in direct response to Swift's poem "The Lady's Dressing Room." She found it sexist and degrading to women so she voiced her feminist opinion in the form of this poem. She attacks his sexual performance and accuses him of writing his poem because of a bad sexual experience with a prostitute himself.
This poem is a narrative but is also satirical.
A Closed reading on: "The Reasons that Induced Dr. S. to Write a Poem called The Lady’s Dressing Room" by jade leming
This rhyme shows off the rhyming pattern of AABBCCDD.
The blue lines show an example of a literary device called a simile.
These lines show Lady M's dig to swift about his sexual failure. She claims it was not the prostitutes fault, but the "Doctor's" own sexual impotence.
She uses a simile as the Doctor's excuse for sexual failure saying that what happened to him would be something that could even happen to Hercules a God.
The author uses very harsh words to describe Betty through the Doctor's eyes just as Swift did in his poem: stinking, stool, dirty
She also uses repetition to further slander the Doctor when she repeats the word "tries".
The Doctor in a clean starched band,
His golden snuffbox in his hand,
With care his diamond ring displays
And artful shews its various rays,
While grave he stalks down----Street
His dearest----to meet.
Long had he waited for this hour,
Nor gained admittance to the bower;
Had joked and punned, and swore and writ,
Tried all his gallantry and wit; 10
Had told her oft what part he bore
In Oxford's schemes in days of yore,
But bawdy, politics nor satire
Could move this dull hard-hearted creature.
Jenny her maid could taste a rhyme
And, grieved to see him lose his time,
Had kindly whispered in his ear,
"For twice two pound you enter here:
My Lady vows that without that sum
It is in vain you write or come." 20
The destined offering now he brought
And in a paradise of thought
With a low bow approached the dame,
Who smiling heard him preach his flame.
His gold she takes (such proofs as these
Convince most unbelieving shes)
And in her trunk rose up to lock it
(Too wise to trust it in her pocket)
And then, returned with blushing grace,
Expects the Doctor's warm embrace. 30
But now this is the proper place
Where morals stare me in the face,
And, for the sake of fine expression,
I'm forced to make a small digression.
Alas for wretched humankind,
With learning mad, with wisdom blind!
The ox thinks he's for saddle fit
(As long ago friend Horace writ);
And men their talents still mistaking,
The stutterer fancies his is speaking. 40
With admiration oft we see
Hard features heightened by toupee;
The beau affects the politician;
Wit is the citizen's ambition;
Poor Pope philosophy displays on
With so much rhyme and little reason,
And, though he argues ne'er so long
That all is right, his head is wrong.
None strive to know their proper merit,
But strain for wisdom, beauty, spirit 50
And lose the praise that is their due
While they've the impossible in view:
So have I seen the injudicious heir
To add one window the whole house impair.
Nature to every thing alive
Points out the path to shine or thrive,
But man, vain man, who grasps the whole
Shews in all heads a touch of fool.
Instinct the hound does better teach
Who never undertook to preach; 60
The frighted hare from dogs does run
But not attempts to bear a gun.
--Here many noble thoughts occur,
But I prolixity abhor
And will pursue th' instructive tale
To shew the wise in some things fail.
The reverend lover with surprise
Peeps in her bubbies and her eyes,
And kisses both, and tries--and tries.
The evening in this hellish play, 70
Beside his guineas, thrown away,
Provoked the priest to that degree,
He swore, "The fault is not [in] me.
Your damned close-stool so near my nose,
Your dirty smock, and stinking toes
Would make a Hercules as tame
As any beau that you can name."
The nymph, grown furious, roared, "By God!
The blame lies all in sixty-odd,"
And, scornfully pointing to the door, 80
Cried, "Fumbler, see my face no more."
"With all my heart I'll go away,
But nothing, I'll nothing pay.
Give back the money."--"How," cried she,
"Would you palm such a cheat on me!
I locked it in the trunk stands there
And break it open if you dare.
For poor 4 pound to roar and bellow,
Why sure you want some new prunella?
What, if your verses have not sold, 90
Must therefore I return your gold?
Perhaps you have no better luck in
The knack of rhyming than of------.
I won't give back one single crown,
To wash your band or turn your gown.
I'll be revenged, you saucy queen,"
Replies the disappointed Dean;
"I'll so describe your dressing room
The very Irish shall not come."
She answered short, "I'm glad you'll write; 100
You'll furnish paper when I shite."
Lady M. directly corresponds the poem's protagonist The Doctor with Johnathan Swift.
This poem follows the Doctor's attempt to have sex with a prostitute named Betty.
He cannot go through with it due to his own sexual failures and wants his money back.
Lady M. felt it was necessary to defend women after reading "The Lady's Dressing Room" because she thought it to be sexist and wanted to stand up for women as a whole. She was tired of men in her time period thinking women served a purpose to fulfill their role in society so she stood up to Swift for his misogynistic poem.