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Analysis of "The Ladies Dressing Room" by Jonathan Swift

In: English and Literature

Submitted By nataliemarie
Words 987
Pages 4
Natalie Santiago

Analysis of Jonathan Swift “The Lady’s Dressing Room”

Published in 1732, written by Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), “The Lady’s Dressing Room” is a poem that describes the monstrosities a man named Strephon endures while venturing through the dressing room of a ‘lady’ named Celia. When Strephon discovers Celia’s dressing room is unoccupied both by Celia and Betty, her employee, he ceases the opportunity to inspect the private space. The portrayal of Celia’s dressing room is pitched throughout the text with sarcasm. The descriptions of the room indicate Celia’s characteristics in which have been hidden to the public. The narrator (Swift) looks through the eyes of Strephon, the protagonist, and creates a list of his findings and viewings. As Strephon continues to observe the room it is indeed understood that the title of the poem “The Lady’s Dressing Room” is complete irony; vivid descriptions are given to suggest the untidiness of Celia’s dressing room and habitual manners are in exact opposite to the features in which a well mannered lady unveils. The satirical poem is compared to the glorification of women both in literary genres and throughout society. The various styles of irony create a mockery out of Celia; she is scorned and ridiculed. Verbal irony, the distinction between what people say and what they mean, is frequently used in “The Lady’s Dressing Room”. Swift’s tone indicates the use of figurative language in order to reveal the delusional view in which is beheld of a women’s proper conduct. Through Strephon’s perception Swift is able to portray to the reader that a “lady” has many secrets and not to “judge a book by its cover”. As Strephon takes a look into Celia’s private area it is clear that the image she represents to the public is only a mere fabrication of what she truly is. The first line in Swift’s poem “Five hours,…...

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