William Shakespeare 's Twelfth Night

1155 Words5 Pages
People tend to judge others based on many aspects. Sometimes they may try to force people to act upon certain rules that define their place in society. They often try to meet expectations that society has made for them based on gender and social status. William Shakespeare reinforces these ideas in his play Twelfth Night, which introduces many meaningful messages about situations that still occur in society today. He clearly develops important themes worthy of analysis. A few of these strong themes are about stereotypes and society’s expectations and rules, which he proves to be irrelevant most of the time. Many situations in the play falsify commonly held stereotypes about gender and social status by showing how they are sometimes invalid. He also shows how these stereotypes can affect the way people behave towards and judge others. In Twelfth Night, Shakespeare contradicts vapid stereotypes about gender. Through Viola’s disguise as Cesario, he is able to prove that a woman is able to fulfill a man 's role in society. She is able to fool the other characters and is even able to woo another woman. This reinforces ideas about how invalid the rules and regulations society has made since Viola easily broke through them. Later on in the story, Sir Andrew challenges Viola to a duel. Viola expects Sir Andrew to be a great fighter, and he expects the same from her. This creates a comedic situation since they both are too afraid of each other to engage in the fight. (3.4, 223-298)

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