Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Rachel Speght

I really enjoyed reading what Rachel Speght wrote about women in the section called Of Woman’s Excellency, with the causes of her creation, and of the sympathy which ought to be in man and wife each toward other. Speght’s argument was nicely complemented by the Biblical scriptures that she acknowledged in this writing. The way that she described women, their importance and ‘excellency’ was very positive and encouraging. Speght pointed out that the cause of Adam’s sin was not entirely the woman’s fault. The woman gave Adam the fruit to eat but it was his own choice to eat the fruit which caused him to sin; “for by the free will, which before his fall he enjoyed, he might have avoided, and been free from being burnt, or singed with that fire which was kindled by Satan, and blown by Eve” (Speght, 9). This analogy she used about the fire was interesting because it clearly confirms that men are responsible for their own decisions. Speght believed that a husband should love his wife because by doing so he would also love himself (Speght, 12). As well, she talked about women as a man’s companion and helper. This shows that women have significant and complementary roles that are important for men. I liked the way that Speght compared the Cockerel and Hen with a man and woman and demonstrated how they are to help one another especially because a man and woman compared to other animals are much more reasonable and should understand how they can benefit each other. Speght mentions that following Christ’s Resurrection, Jesus appeared to a woman first. I found it fascinating to think about the implication of how this clearly does demonstrate that women and men can both receive salvation.
It was interesting that Speght did not group all women as virtuous and acknowledged that some were not. This shows that she was not simply grouping all women in the same category. It appears to indicate that she was not just writing to praise women by making them seem better than men. Instead, she was indicating that both women and men are important and that there are good and bad of each.


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