In class we have read and discussed selections from Arcangela Tarabotti’s book Paternal Tyranny and have read and discussed some of the writings of the famous courtesan Veronica Franco. At first glance, it might seem that a nun and a courtesan would have had had little in common. And yet they were both extremely intelligent women who came up against the difficult social situation created by the marriage strategies and patterns of elite Venetian families. In their writings, they present their ideas and attitudes about women and the female sex, about the ‘family strategies’ of Venetian families, about men, and about Venice itself, among other topics. Write a paper comparing (and in some instances contrasting) the ideas of Tarabotti and Franco. Their ideas should be set into the context of late sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Venice.
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