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Aemilia Lanyer uses irony and sarcasm in her poem Eves Apology in Defense of Women She uses sarcasm to address the issue of female inequality and uses imagery and ironic undertones to make the poem effective In the first stanza Lanyer begins the poem with an image of women being equal with men and at times even better She states that Pilate should have listened to his wife when she asked him to spare her savior Jesus life Lanyer is establishing the theme of defending women because she is putting Pilates wife in a holier and more esteemed position than him She begged for her Saviours life 8 and yet Pilate did not take her advice and opted instead to have nothing to do with it which was more cowardly than what his wife would have done She continues this theme into the next stanzas using the fall of Adam and Eve to defend women Lanyer plays on the age-old idea men are stronger and superior to women Therefore if women are weak she argues it is in fact men who are more at fault for the fall of humankind because it should have been expected for women to succumb to the power of temptation Adams acceptance of the fruit is inexcusable because he is supposedly stronger than Eve and should have been able to resist her temptation What weakness offered strength might have refused Being lord of all the greater was his shameFor he was lord and king of all the earth Before poor Eve had either life or breath 35-36 39-40 This statement is ironic because Lanyer does not believe that women are weak or that men are stronger She goes on to chide Adam for laying the fault on Patience back 49 and wonders why women must put up with the stigma attached with being held responsible for the fall of humankind It wasnt that he was persuaded 54 by
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