International Journal of Arts, Humanities &Social Sciences

ISSN 2994-6417 (Print) , ISSN 2994-6425 (Online)
Villains, Victims or Heroes?: The Three Main Women in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon


This paper examines how the three main women characters in the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Jen (played by Ziyi Zhang), Xiulian (played by Michelle Yeoh) and Jade Fox (played by Pei-Pei Cheng), are all in their own ways villains, victims and heroes of their time as they break the Confucian traditional gender roles of the Qing dynasty.  It explores the context of the genres that influence both the overall work Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and the characters within that work and the source novel by Wang Dulu.  Then it examines what makes each of the three women characters villains, victims and heroes; including their motivations, desires and actions in the story as individuals.  Finally, the inevitability of what happens to them when their lives intersect and why is analyzed.