As we finished our discussion on Henry Fielding's Shamela, one of the most important themes we talked about was the author's "moralizing" through their characters. In Richardson's Pamela, the idea of "virtue" takes on much more than Pamela's sexuality; it represents an innocence and naivety that Pamela looks to preserve. In Shamela, we see Richardson's "moralizing" criticized through the explicit sexuality of the characters like Squire Booby and Shamela. Although we know that Fielding is criticizing these moral lessons, what exactly is he criticizing about them? For example, what is he actually saying about female virtue and sexuality? Do you think that he is mocking these virtuous attributes as insignificant moral factors? Does Fielding offer any of his own moral lessons through Shamela about "virtue" specifically?
Further, in paragraph  we see one of the many sexual scenes between Shamela and Squire Booby. In class, we talked about how Shamela "deals" with his advances here, and decided on sexual pleasure as her preventative action (she is being held down and has one arm free). What does a scene like this say about Fielding's view on the real Pamela? Is he insinuating that, in fact, she played along with his sexual desires? What does this tell us about her "virtuous" character? It seems that Fielding is exposing her here as a "slut" who has almost no virtuous aspects at all. Is he trying to argue here that "virtue" can be performed or faked? Is there a distinction between performing virtue and intrinsically being virtuous?
Before you answer these questions, define "virtue" in your own terms. Do you think it simply means protecting virginity, or is it a whole persona of actions?