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Essay Sample: Page 2
In Swift’s conception, then, this highest, purest aspect of Reason is really intuition; it is above and distinct from what is ordinarily regarded as intellectual process. For that reason, comparing Swift to Shakespeare’s Hamlet is conceivable. W.B.C Watkins says the extent of this extreme disillusion, this revulsion from anything physical while still being morbidly attracted to it is largely similar to Hamlet transferring his hatred of his mother’s sin to Ophelia, with his unhappy faculty of generalizations, to all womankind (461). Scholars claimed that through scientific advancement and reason society could achieve a high degree of moral righteousness. Throughout his lifetime critics rejected and even attacked Swift’s writing due to his treatment of women. Critics, including William Makepeace Mchackery, attacked the immorality of Swift’s life, concentrating on what he perceived about his treatment of women to be detestable to the era’s sentimental visions of love and virtue.

Women in their dressing rooms were for Swift a symbol of humankind’s vanity, hypocrisy, and imperfection. The Lady’s Dressing-Room provides a good example of their typical structure. Here, Swift opens creating the image of Celia to be perfect and divine.

Five Hours, (and who can do it less in?) By haughty Celia spent in Dressing;

The Goddess from her chamber issues, Array’d in Lace, Brocades, and Tissues. (1-4)

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