The Theatre and its Identity Crisis

2207 Words 9 Pages
My trust in the definitiveness of reality is swiftly disintegrating beneath me. The deeper I dive into the abyss of theory, the more I realize that nothing I have learned is safe from change; that facts may actually be temporary and that everything is a prisoner of our construction of time. In admitting this, I worry that these hypotheses are the beginning of a tiny delusion that will begin to gradually eat away at the rest of my sanity. That scares me a bit, yes, but even as I sit here writing, I love this newfound instability because it’s ironically made me feel more grounded than I’ve ever felt. Armed with these ideas, I have looked back at the world I’ve grown up with and finally begun to see society’s seams tugged apart, its …show more content…
Butler also notes that if you play this role differently than the accepted one, you will be justly punished. (521, 531) Though this is not entirely true, it’s a fascinating theory that has struck a chord with many. Just look at how people perceive transvestite or transgender males on the streets. As they act in a so-called feminine manner, people retreat from them out of discomfort or fear. Things and theory only matter if they have some basis in truth, after all.
There is a term in psychology that backs up Butler’s theory known concisely as the power of the situation. This self-explanatory concept states that our actions are shaped more by the setting we find ourselves in rather than what we determine our personality to be. (Gleitman 2011) This implies that there are overarching societal expectations that govern our behaviour in every situation we may encounter; every place we go to is assigned a corresponding list of appropriate actions to execute whether we are aware of it or not. As Shakespeare put it, “All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players…” (As You Like It Act 2, scene 7, 139–143). This is directly in line with Butler’s ideas. Even I, who tend to fall closer on the male side of the spectrum than female, fall victim to these rules. I
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