Born 1930, from Belgian parents. French feminist, philospher, linguist, pyschoanalyst, sociologist and cultural theorist. Best known for: Speculum of the Other Woman (1974) and The Sex Which Is Not One (1977).
Woman as ‘Commodities’ One of Irigaray’s ideas is that woman are ‘commodities’. She says “Woman is traditionally a use-value for man, an exchange value among men; in other words, a commodity.” She claims that under patriarchal society women are bought, sold and traded between men. In groups, discuss examples of how Hermione, Paulina and Perdita are treated as ‘commodities’.
Germaine Greer (1939) Australian academic and an important feminist. Her book ‘The Female Eunuch’ (1970) was highly controversial and became a best-seller. Her other books include Sex and Destiny: The Politics of Human Fertility (1984); The Change: Women, Ageing and the Menopause (1991); Shakespeare's Wife (2007); and The Whole Woman (1999). Greer has defined her goal as “women’s liberation” rather than “equality with men” - the rights of women to define their own values and determine their own fates. Rather than to seek equality with men - which would mean assimilation (adapting to the customs and attitudes of men)
Germaine Greer Page 45 the idea of ‘masquerade’ and being a ‘transvestite’. Do you think any of the female characters in ‘The Winter’s Tale’ would sympathize with this idea? Page 46 the myth of the “eternal feminine”, first introduced by Simone de Beauvoir. Do you agree with her? How could you apply this idea to ‘The Winter’s Tale’?
Germaine Greer Page 48, Greer thinks there is no romanticism in Shakespeare’s view of marriage: Do you agree or disagree with reference to ‘The Winter’s Tale’? Find examples and quotes to support your answer.
Think about this Greer quote: “Love, love, love – all the wretched can’t of it, masking egotism, lust, masochism, fantasy under a mythology of sentimental postures, a welter of self-induced miseries and joys, blinding and masking the essential personalities in the frozen gestures of courtship, in the kissing and the dating and the desire, the compliments and the quarrels which vivify its barrenness. ” What does Greer mean by this? Is she unfair and bitter in her views on love do you think?!
More Greer quotes… “Every woman knows that, regardless of all her other achievements, she is a failure if she is not beautiful.” “Status ought not to be measured by a woman's ability to attract and snare a man.” What do you think of this? Find some examples and QUOTES from ‘The Winter’s Tale’ that support or reject this idea
Could a woman have written ‘The Winter’s Tale’? In her book ‘Shakespeare’s Wife’, Germaine Greer argues that Shakespeare’s wife Anne Hathaway was a much greater influence on his writing than scholars and historians have given her credit for. What do you think about the idea that ‘The Winter’s Tale’ might have been written by a woman? Create an argument either for or against, illustrating your argument with quotes from the play.