A common trait with all feminists is the desire to challange and change assumptions about gender, illuminating the way in which sexual stereotyping is frequently embodied in the text.
The Winter's Tale presents the women as the strongest characters.
Marilyn French is concerned with the play's exploration of male and female portryal. This she explores not in the term of theme and characterisation but also with reference to the play's dramatic structure, seeing romance and the triumph of its conventions as symbolic of a triumph of the feminine though, paradoxically in so she marginalises the roles of Paulina and Hermione.
Patricia Southgard Gourlay examines the Renaissance's fascination with Venus and Eve as variously destructive and creative female forces. On the one hand she sees Leonte's alienation from Hermoine as symptomatic of his society's alienation from the qualities the women metaphorically represent. Hermoine, Perdita and Paulina on the other hand represent the subversive and creative power of love, art and nature.