By Tracey L. Walters (auth.)
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Extra resources for African American Literature and the Classicist Tradition: Black Women Writers from Wheatley to Morrison
In a letter addressed to a friend, Sancho wrote: “Phyllis’s poems do credit to nature—and put art—merely as art—to the blush. It reflects nothing either to the glory or generosity of her master—if she is still his slave—except he glories in the low vanity of having his wanton power a mind animated by Heaven—a genius superior to himself ” (Sancho xxiii). In the poem “To Macenas,” Wheatley shared her laureate ambitions. Although during her lifetime Wheatley did not earn the official laureateship title, later many (especially those in the Black community) came to regard her as a poet genius and poet laureate.
Medea remains in her home inconsolable until at the urging of the Corinthian women she comes out and addresses them. During her speech, Medea denounces Jason’s callous behavior and his impending nuptials. She also talks about the subordinate status of women in ancient society. Medea maintains that because of her sex Jason can freely abuse her without punishment: “Of all the creatures that can feel and think, we women are the worst-treated things alive. To begin with, we bid the highest price in dowries just to buy some man to be dictator of our bodies.
Stung by such imputations as that of Calhoun that if a Negro could prove his ability to master the Greek subjunctive he might vindicate his title to manhood, the newly liberated race first shot forward along this line with an energy and success which astonished its most sanguine friends. (260) In an effort to prove to Whites that they were mentally and socially equal, Blacks scrambled not just to learn but to master Greek and CLASSICAL DISCOURSE AS POLITICAL AGENCY 51 Latin. Black scholars like William S.
African American Literature and the Classicist Tradition: Black Women Writers from Wheatley to Morrison by Tracey L. Walters (auth.)