This thesis is an investigation into the plays and life of August Strindberg in an attempt to unravel the following curious questions they may provoke in regards to how a die-hard misogynist captured and portrayed with great accuracy the female mind. If he was in fact able to create these characters because he struggled in similar ways psychologically throughout his own life then the line between man and women becomes blurred raising a multitude of issues regarding gender.
Using Freudian psychoanalytic theory, the Feminist response to Freud and in turn Strindberg and his plays; The Father, Miss Julie and Creditors, a thorough assessment of what lurks beneath the masks of patriarchy will be explored. This exploration will include theories ranging from Simone de Beauvoir, Sue-Ellen Case, Judith Butler, Juliet Mitchell, Lisa Appignanesi and Luce Irigaray, to Sigmund Freud, Robert Brustein, Declan Kiberd and Peter Szondi. Author keywords: Patriarchy, female characters, feminism, portrayals of women, gender, psychoanalysis, battle of the sexes, Strindberg, classic drag