Gender Ambiguity : ' Boys Should Be Girls Will Be Boys ' And ' Twelfth Night ' Essay

1649 WordsNov 24, 20157 Pages
“Boys will be girls will be boys” This statement refers to the theme of gender within Shakespeare’s comedies and it is portrayed significantly in both As You Like It and Twelfth Night. Gender is a major theme in the work of Shakespeare which is an issue which has had a significant impact on the criticism attracted to his work for many of his plays, led by feminists in particular. In each of the two plays there is gender ambiguity, mistaken identities and gender blurring as Shakespeare deals with the important issues of homosexuality and bisexuality. Before dealing with these issues it is important to look at the society of the time and the historical background to some of the issues such as cross dressing. It is also significant to note the motives behind the characters to disguise as men and also the relationships they have with other characters to give us a sense of their true gender identity. In each of the plays the female protagonist disguises herself as man. However they were not acted by females to begin with as it was an all-male acting company on the Renaissance stage in England during this period. However the women in Shakespeare’s plays are given a certain power although it is through the guise of men and that is why some critics may conclude that perhaps Shakespeare had a limited view of women as did the society he lived in. However he was clearly influenced by society in what he wrote about but instead of refraining** women he empowered women in his plays giving

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