Examining Viola's Character in Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

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Examining the relationship between speech, public space and authority for Viola's Character in Twelfth Night One of the most celebrated and authoritative women in the 16th century was Elizabeth I. Even though the authority was at woman's hands at that time, a dominant woman was unnatural in the society itself. The presence of such a powerful female figure creates an interesting situation for dramatists and playwrights in terms of depicting women's status at that time. By using the psychological concept ,liminality; I am going to examine the relationship between Viola's speech , society's authority and her public space which is consists of two main parts: her private life as Viola and her public life as Cesario and how this…show more content…
Such these practices in Shakespearean theater double the humor simultaneously; however, it contributes to the development of Viola's character in the play itself in which she finds herself in between two worlds: feminism and masculinely. The role of male actors in the theater brings into account women's role as well as contradicts the concept of men's cross dressing. In the 16th century, women were not allowed to act on the stage. If they have done so, they would have been scorned by society and considered to be lewd and immoral. Thomas Coryat , English traveller , wrote in his Coryat's Crudities in 1611, a travelogue ,about his experience in Venice "I saw women acte, a thing that I never saw before, though I have heard that it hath beene sometimes used in London". Women at court ;however, perform in private performances for Elizabeth and her guests. In the society, women were subservient to their fathers, brothers, or guardian and subsequently to their husbands. Their s reputation is protected by them. Their role is to be fit for homemaking and child-bearing and ;moreover to accept her lesser status. Therefore, women used cross dressing as a means of survival and protection, but if they were discovered dressing as a male; they will be punished and scorned by the society for being a whore and violating gender boundaries by wearing a man's clothes . The boy players' on the stage;however, wear different kinds of fabrics in order to indicate the role

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