Shakespeare's use of cross dressing and deceitfulness extends beyond the actual writings in the plays and goes onto the stage. Women were not allowed to perform on stage in Shakespeare's time. ."..all the great women's roles in Elizabethan and Jacobean plays, from Juliet and Lady Macbeth to the duchess of Malfi, were written to be
For many years, psychologists described homosexuality as a disorder or a treatable complex. Recently, homosexuality was removed from the DSM and is no longer considered a disorder. The gay population is no longer treated as sick but accepted as a diverse set of individuals. The many distinguishing attributes and characteristics of a gay or lesbian individual are considered to be personality attributes.
William Shakespeare’s tragedy “Macbeth” completely challenges the idea of traditional gender roles and social norms during the renaissance period. The male characters have many feminine traits while the female characters have many more masculine and manlier traits. This was going entirely against the stereotypical outlook of the roles you’re supposed to play as your gender during that time of history. During the renaissance period women were only expected to clean, cook, and to have babies. Men on the other hand were typically expected to work hard and to provide for the home. Socially women didn’t have power or respect and men were the ones who were supposed to be brave and tough at the best of times and the worst of times. That idea is
As a society, we feed off of each other for what a proper response to something may be. As children, we first look to see our mother’s reaction after falling down; if she is calm, I should also be. We look to each other for what a definition of things should be, as well. In the 1950’s, it was generally obscene for a woman on television to show her belly button, whereas today we will show nude breasts on primetime programming. This follows the sociological theory of symbolic interactionism, where society and individual social interaction provides a subjective meaning to deviant behavior. Many social definitions change for the better, however some change for the worse. One such example was once viewed as normal, with no second thoughts given to it, but now is seen as an actual social problem affecting some groups aversely. This is the topic of homosexuality, a subject that has been on the receiving end of both accepting and discriminating cultures for thousands of years.
In Pepper Schwartz article titled “ The Social Construction of Heterosexuality”, Schwartz writes about what she believe Americans define as Heterosexuality. Schwartz writes about the so-called body standard that movies and television show set for us about how we should look and dress. Schwartz writes about what she believes straight men have to look like in order to define their masculinity. Schwartz’s main argument is about all the gender stereotypes we have in our society. Stereotypes like in order to be straight or even gay you have to look, dress, and talk a certain way. Schwartz is trying to say that you do not have to meet the so-called standards we have set for sexuality. Schwartz does make some valid
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 (Baker, Howard, Garber), as the means for a woman to be assertive without arousing hostility (Claiborne Park), and as homoerotic arousal (Jardine). This variety of interpretations suggests the multivoiced character of the motif, but
Othello represents a prime example of Shakespeare's ability to develop relationships between the sexes so as to demonstrate those relationships' weaknesses. In Othello, the sexes are divided by misconceptions and ego- centric views of the opposite gender. The men of the play, in particular Othello, maintain a patriarchal, chivalric notion of the sexes, while the women of the play yearn for more involvement in their husbands' affairs. So it is that the thrust of the play emerges from "the opposition of attitudes, viewpoints, and sexes." (Neely 214)
In William Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, gender roles are explored, culminating in two distinct scenes of cross-dressing. The men of Elizabethan society enjoy a prominent status based solely on gender, to which women are clearly outsiders. This is particularly evident in Jessica’s newfound freedom when dressed as a pageboy in Act 2 and Portia’s and Nerissa’s immediate elevation in social standing when they take on male personas in Act 4. Through these two instances of cross-dressing, Shakespeare presents class not in terms of socioeconomic status but in the benefits of being male. Although the three women all partake in cross-dressing as a means of undermining patriarchal constraint, the consequences vary as there are several
Identity and Feminism: Themes such as Gender identity are illustrated in Shakespeare’s plays through the use of costuming and role playing. In texts like “Twelfth Night”, Shakespeare uses a female character named Viola who is the noblewoman disguised as a boy named Cesario, this creates a comedic gender exchange situation where the role reversal goes wrong and leads to mistaken
In Shakespeare's plays Twelfth Night and As You Like It both of the lead female characters dress as men. Both plays are comedies and the change in gender is used as a joke, but I think it goes much deeper. A woman can become a man, but only if it is not permanent. The affect of the change cannot be too great because she must change back to female once everything is settled. They are strong female characters, but must become men to protect themselves and ultimately solve the problem of the play. In the book Desire and Anxiety: The Circulation of Sexuality in Shakespearian Drama Valerie Traub calls the characters, "the crossed-dressed heroine who elicits and enjoys
With every great story line comes a theme. William Shakespeare created an art of intertwining often unrecognizable themes within his plays. In Shakespeare’s play, The Merchant of Venice, one hidden theme is the idea of homosexuality. This theme might not have even been noticed until modern Shakespeare fans discovered them. According to Alan Bray’s book, Homosexuality in Renaissance England, “the modern image of ‘the homosexual’ cannot be applied to the early modern period, when homosexual behavior was viewed in terms of the sexual act and not an individual's broader identity.” (Columbia University Press). This difference between homosexuality as a “sexual act” and an
Other studies conducted suggest that homosexuality might be base on difference in the brain structure of homosexual and heterosexual males. In 1991, Simon LeVay, a researcher at salks institute for biological studies in San Diego, found that an area of the brain called INAH-3 was larger in heterosexual men as in homosexual men . INAH-3 is a small cell cluster in the hypothalamus that is involve regulating male sex behavior. LeVay’s finding provided clues that prove that sexual attraction to some extent might be biological. Other studies following levay’s study suggest that homosexuality might be base on genetic. It is believe that “gay gene” is passed from mother tho son.
Main Idea: Shakespeare was not a sexist: All though the main three females in the play were seen as important and contributed tremendously towards the plot of the play. The readers see Shakespeare pushing the ideology of men and women being equal with the slow occurrence of many plots towards the play, and how it all unravels itself. These were proven in the play by when;
even though sexuality can be considered universal, the sexual behaviors affiliated with it offer different attitudes in various communities. Sexuality is aligned to sexual attraction where individuals can identify themselves with a broad range of sexuality that is bisexual, gay or being lesbian. Sexuality can change over time in a person depending on the circumstances surrounding him or her. It may be affected by the social circle and emotional imbalances that may occur in an individual. Interestingly there exists sexual inequality among many societies in the world. As observed, many societies encourage men to have multiple sex partners but forbid it in women. Moreover, pre-marital sex is promoted in men, but women are flaunted if they participate in pre-marital sex. Across the globe, Western Europe has embraced certain norms in sexuality such as homosexuality whereas African society embraces a negative attitude towards the same.
The place of women within the theatre is well known, that being that they had no place within the stage. Women's parts were played by young men in