Myth-taken Identity: Margaret Atwood and Carol Ann Duffy’s Feminist Revisionist Mythology

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Florida Southern College
In the Western literary canon, Greco-Roman mythology acts as the foundation that all subsequent texts are built upon. For better or for worse, these ancient texts continue to perpetuate harmful ideas about gender, authorship, and storytelling. The reification of these texts simultaneously reinforces misogynist ideas about women’s voices and serves to further exclude women from the legacy of Western literary history. Using the work of contemporary feminist authors, this paper will focus on ways in which we can reimagine our history to be one of inclusion rather than exclusion. Within Margaret Atwood and Carol Ann Duffy’s body of work, both authors use feminist revisionist mythology to reclaim women’s voices that classical mythology mistreated or left out altogether. In doing so, their writings provide a form of literary justice to the women left out of Western literary canon and suggest a new way of approaching canonical texts.
Honors Thesis Spring 2017
Feminism, Mythology, Margaret Atwood, Carol Ann Duffy