Gender Themes In Twelfth Night

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Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare Twelfth Night is one of the best literary works of William Shakespeare. It is one of the most popular romantic comedies written in 1600 and still recognized today. The play examines the themes of love, gender roles, and sexuality. It is about stranded Viola who pretends to be a man, Cesario. The drama starts to unfold when ‘Cesario, ' Viola, falls in love with Orsino, who is in love with Olivia. Orsino does not know that Viola is a woman and sends her to persuade Olivia on his behalf. The play gets even more interesting when Olivia falls for Cesario, who is Viola. The play also focuses on the suffering he goes through in the hands of his associate servants. Many literary critics today are interested in the twist of the plot and subplot and also the themes of affection, sexuality, and gender roles. Twelfth Night, through its comedy, presents life as…show more content…
Due to the play 's intriguing plot and themes, many film directors, for example, Trevor Nunn, have opted to stage it in theaters. Most of the staged versions of Twelfth Night emphasize the themes of sexuality and gender issues (Traub 14). Some of the movies have been recommended for efficiently bringing out the themes while others have been criticized for creating other characters, not in Shakespeare 's context. Other critics also argue that some film directors do not convey the emotional aspects of the play and the ultimate resolution (Berry 36). Twelfth Night is, therefore, better read than when staged. Issues pertaining gender identity and roles are also another point of interest by critics. For instance, Viola helps bring out the subject of mistaken gender identity when she disguises herself as Cesario. Her character is influenced by the time 's gender roles where female roles were played by men. Viola assumes a male identity to defend her from threats, especially sexual threats. Viola 's disguise is a representation of the renaissance England society and culture
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