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date: 17 November 2017

Abstract and Keywords

This article notes that gender-based Shakespearean scholarship has remained one of the liveliest, most popular, and most diverse areas of enquiry among academics, directors, audiences, and students in recent decades. An abiding interest in gender in terms of an examination of culturally constructed difference and the social pressures deployed to enforce normative gendered identities has stimulated generations of critics, theatre companies, audiences, and students to engage in wide-ranging forms of textual analysis and cultural critique linked to Shakespearean writing. Elsewhere, the concern has been to scrutinize the cultural constructions of meaning and power mediated through Shakespeare. The article considers different views regarding gender-based criticism, gender performance, early modern essentialism, gendered spaces, character criticism, gender and psychoanalysis, and Shakespeare and gender critics.

Keywords: gendered identities, Shakespearean writing, gender criticism, early modern essentialism

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