Special issues:

Literature and Linguistics (Vol. 1 No. 2); Literature and Violence (Vol. 3 Nos. 1-2)

Women, Consumption and Popular Culture (Vol. 4 No. 1); Life, Community, and Ethics (Vol. 4. No. 2)

The Making of Barbarians in Western Literature (Vol. 5 No. 1); Chaos and Fear in Contemporary British Literature (Vol. 5 No. 2)

Taiwan Cinema before Taiwan New Wave Cinema (Vol. 6 No. 1); Catastrophe and Cultural Imaginaries (Vol. 6 No. 2)

Affective Perspectives from East Asia (Vol. 9 No. 2); Longing and Belonging (Vol. 10 No. 2, produced in collaboration with the European Network for Comparative Literary Studies)

Transatlantic Literary and Cultural Relations, 1776 to the Present (Vol. 11 No. 2). 


This paper examines the Amazon trope in the narratives of the early eighteenth century. Based on Defoe’s Roxana, it first explores diachronically the origin of Amazon warriors in ancient Greek historical works and examines how the ancient foremothers and the modern English heiress are related; then it synchronically compares Roxana with her counterpart, Belinda, in Alexander Pope’s The Rape of the Lock, and further with Irish women in Jonathan Swift’s Irish Tracts. The perpendicular approaches lay open different acts of masculine violence in literary works. Historically the Amazons were forced to murder, forced sexual acts, and humiliation; in like manner, Roxana is accused of filicide and cannot be exempt from her downfall. Contemporarily Roxana- and Belinda-like women are characterized as concealing male agency of mercantilism and male violence of imperial enterprise, while they, English or Irish, are further commodified and made the sites of cultural corruption and scapegoats for economic recession and trade deficits.

KEY WORDS: masculine violence, Daniel Defoe, Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift, diachronical, synchronical