Anxieties of Intimacy: Twelfth Night

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  • Gender and theatricality in Twelfth Night
    • What is it about?
      • Homosexuality
        • Orsino
      • The Illusion of theatre
      • Gender cross overs - men playing women playing men
        • All-male company - "calls attention to the principle of layers of gender identity and so keeps spectators alert to all the layers involved"
          • "Boy actors served as catamites within all-male companies"
            • a boy kept for homosexual practices.
          • "All is semblative a woman's part"
    • Key Quotes
      • All-male company - "calls attention to the principle of layers of gender identity and so keeps spectators alert to all the layers involved"
        • "Boy actors served as catamites within all-male companies"
          • a boy kept for homosexual practices.
        • "All is semblative a woman's part"
      • "such reflective allusion to the actors maleness generates emotional crosscurrents counter to the play's drive towards heterosexual union"
      • "Orsino's agonised sense of betrayal arises more from the loss of Cesario than from the loss of Olivia"
        • "Like to the Egyptian thief at point of death - kill what I love? A savage jealousy that sometimes savours nobly"
      • "Orsino twice refers to her as if she were male"
      • "In modern productions, the allusions to Viola's male identity are comic rather than reflexive or metatheatrical and the marriages that end the play seems 'natural'"
        • "Fortune forbid my outsides have not charmed her" + "disguise, I see though art a wickedness"
        • "Then think you right: I am not what I am"
      • "Calls attention to the principle of layers of gender identity"
        • "Make me a willow cabin at your gate" - Irony that the most beautiful love in the play is woman to woman
    • Michael Shapiro, 1995

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