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If we were to look at studies today we would have to say that feminist criticism is unfortunately not yet a methodology these critics can be new psychoanalytic historical or textual Although feminist critics are broadly feminists they are usually male as well as female political as well as scholarly theoretical as well as practical Unlike Marxism or psychoanalysis feminism lacks the single influential figure and the foundation of theoretical texts from which basic assumptions and methodology are created Feminist criticism of Shakespeare is also deficient in its own unique subject matter Even though critics of later literature brought women writers back into the canon defined a female aesthetics or consolidated a female literary history the Shakespearean women were created by a man and neither they nor their author have ever been invisible Also women are not the only subject of feminist critics of Shakespeare who also examine topics such as war marriage and the family male identity patriarchal structures Lacking a unique theory methodology subject matter or style feminist critics are united by a number of shared perceptions These include the assumption that women have been subjugated by men and by the social and literary structures that they have devised they believe that women not only deserve equal rights but equal time and equal voice They dislike sexist criticism that ignores misrepresents or devalues women They call attention to the nature of patriarchy and its effect on womens role in society The distinguishing perspective of feminist criticism derives from such assumptions However its approaches and effects vary widely as I will show by describing briefly - three modes of feminist criticism of Shakespeare These are compensatory criticism which focuses on strong women justificatory criticism which focuses on male power and transformational criticism which combines and extends the other two perspectives The first compensatory criticism focuses on assertive women On the powerful prominent eloquent women characters in Shakespeares plays we celebrate their virtues compensate for
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