Gender And Sexuality In Ganymede By William Shakespeare

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It is an interesting notion that Rosalind acknowledges that because of her uncommon height and with some flourishes from a disguise she can easily pass for as a man. Even more interesting is that although she is more than common tall, an attribute assigned to men, Orlando still found himself falling in love with her. Also, Rosalind takes on the new name and role of Ganymede while Celia becomes Aliena, Ganymede’s sister. Rosalind’s going under the disguise of a man and her choice of Ganymede as her new name is another effect of Shakespeare’s desire to incorporate blurred lines of gender and sexuality within the play. Ganymede, a male, is played by Rosalind, a female, who is played by a male actor therein blurring the lines of gender to the point that there is no line. Equally as important to the blurring of the lines is the choice of the name Ganymede, who was the young boy cupbearer to Jupiter and more importantly his homosexual lover. The implications of such a name generate questions about early theater which took a great amount of inspiration from Greek and Roman Mythologies which are famous for their lewd sexual activities such as sodomy, same-sex relationships, and orgies. After having walked for miles in the forest of Arden Rosalind as Ganymede exclaims “O Jupiter, how weary are my spirits!” seemingly taking on the role of Ganymede and even swearing by his god and lover (2.4.1). Again this continues to fortify the complexities of gender and sexuality and their

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