William Shakespeare: feminist strains
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In the Elizabethan era women faced huge barriers in their path to asserting their individual identities in society. This trend of an oppressive patriarchal society inhabited by ‘correctly’ submissive women was reflected in literature of that time. Feminism is much later idea than Shakespearean time. Feminism is very recent movement that encourage women in every sector of their life. Feminism is not just about being women. It is about political movements, ideologies and beliefs that establish every rights for women. It seeks the opportunities of equal rights. It is really not easy to mention Shakespeare as a feminist writer in terms of writing Shakespeare in that sense can be looked at as an author who was way ahead of his times. This thesis argues that while Shakespearean plays mirror his contemporary society, they also take a step forward and talk about powerful women asserting their position in society very cleverly. Shakespeare portrays strong women in such way that they do not seem to be in conflict with the values of that era This paper will explore how Shakespearean plays have noticeable feminist influences. Different feminist theories will be used to make a strong argument. The focus will be on three selected texts, namely, Twelfth Night, The Merchant of Veniceand, As You Like It.