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Web of Proceedings - Francis Academic Press
Web of Proceedings - Francis Academic Press

Women in Shakespeare

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DOI: 10.25236/ieesasm.2021.091


Yi Zhu

Corresponding Author

Yi Zhu


In the 16th century, English societies were defined by notions like “feudatory” or “hierarchy”. People were unaware of gender but apprised of boundaries between males and females. Cross-dressing in that era was particular to theatrics, yet Shakespeare deliberately utilize that element in his comedies. By analyzing two Shakespearean romantic comedies, Twelfth Night and As You Like It, I aim to show that cross-dressing plays a big role in driving the plot and assisting Shakespeare to express female stories with the voice of men. This essay further studies Shakespeare's female characters and their thoughts on grief, death, marriage, human nature. In summary, it appeals to Shakespearean literature to remind readers of the ultimate goal of feminism and the impact of theory.


Shakespeare, Gender study, Literature analysis, Comedy