plays as well. For early modern England at this time, cross-dressing was looked at as a dramaturgical motif, a theatrical practice, and a social phenomenon. “In Shakespeare’s day, a cross-dressed heroine, like any female character also involved a gender switch in the world of the playhouse, for women’s roles were normally assigned to young male apprentices called play-boys” (Shapiro, 1). In each of Shakespeare’s five plays involving a cross-dressing heroine, he tried something different. He cleverly
They knew that the female roles were taken by the males and thus they feared that it would encourage homosexual lust among the young boys. They feared that wearing female attires would kindle unclean affection for each other.Twelfth night is a classic example for cross gender issue. InViola,the female protagonist, we see the juxtaposition of masculine and feminine qualities. She serves Duke Orsino disguised as a eunuch. She becomes his messenger to Olivia, who gradually falls in love with Cesario
INTRODUCTION Twelfth Night (c. 1600-01) is a complicated play which deals with the nature of love, gender role and the intricate comic and tragic experiences of love. The characters have multiple layers of gender roles and sexual attractions which makes the issue of gender identity more complex. For example, Viola, the heroine of the play is dressed as a male, Cesario, throughout most of the play. As a male, Viola woos Olivia for Orsino, resulting in Olivia falling in love with Viola-as-Cesario.
Thane of Cawdor lives: why do you dress me in Borrow'd robes?" (I, III,108) Symbols using clothing such as borrowed robes, disguises and cross-dressing are found in several plays where they betray a range of situations from sheer mischievousness to dark, treasonable or murderous plots. The symbol appears again when Banquo and Macbeth are discussing whether the witches' prophecy about Macbeth becoming king will come true as well, "New honours come upon him, Like our strange garments, cleave not
Roaring Girl Though its primary function is usually plot driven--as a source of humor and a means to effect changes in characters through disguise and deception—cross dressing is also a sociological motif involving gendered play. My earlier essay on the use of the motif in Shakespeare's plays pointed out that cross dressing has been discussed as a symptom of "a radical discontinuity in the meaning of the family" (Belsey 178), as cul-tural anxiety over the destabilization of the social hierarchy
Throughout Twelfth Night, or What You Will, Shakespeare challenges the notion of the heteronormative social standard of 1601, when the play was performed. The comedy is Shakespeare’s only play to have two titles, and is titled in reference to the Elizabethan nativity, or the twelfth night of the Christmas celebration. Circa 1600 during the reign of Elizabeth I, this holiday was celebrated as a festival in which everything was turned upside down, much like the innately chaotic world of Illyria, in