Feminist Critical Lens Essay

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Similar to the belief of feminism, the feminist literary theory is used to identify the relationships between male and females and their roles in society in literature. The examination of exploitation of the oppression and marginalization of women is called the Feminist Critical Lens. Lois Tyson, author of Critical Theory Today, describes the feminist literary theory as “"...the ways in which literature (and other cultural productions) reinforce or undermine the economic, political, social, and psychological oppression of women". The feminist critical lens helps the readers look for and understand the phallocentric ideology and unequal justice towards female characters. Readers are allowed to view literature, well-known or not, in a feminist perspective. Feminist criticism is also concerned with not only the female characters in the literary work, but the role of female authors. The historical aspect of the feminist criticism comes into play when examining the ostracism and omission of female writers from the…show more content…
In Elaine Showalter’s essay “Representing Ophelia: Woman, Madness and the Responsibilities of Feminist Criticism,” she argues if Ophelia is “indeed representative of Women,” and if Ophelia’s psychosis stands “for the oppression of women in society as well as tragedy.” In Act 3, Scene 1, Ophelia, following orders from Polonius, tells Hamlet that she would like to return the love letters Hamlet wrote to her. Hamlet’s demeanor quickly escalates bitterly as he denies ever loving her or giving her anything. Hamlet’s refusal of feeling hurt and masking his grief by threatening and mistreating Ophelia shows much power Hamlet has over her. To most readers, Ophelia’s submissiveness could be seen as fear but through a feminist lens, one can conclude Ophelia can’t say or do much but to only take the blow. Ophelia knows to bite her tongue and do what she is told to

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