Twelfth Night Essay Feminism

Twelfth Night Essay Feminism-9
In fact, in Shakespeare’s day women were thought to be intellectually and emotionally inferior to men, so a bond between two men would have been a bond between equals.Just as we can’t know how Shakespeare intended audiences to interpret Olivia and Orsino’s love for Cesario, we can’t know if he wants us to understand Antonio’s feelings as sexual desire, or passionate friendship.People no longer believed everything they were told, but tried to find things out for themselves.

In fact, in Shakespeare’s day women were thought to be intellectually and emotionally inferior to men, so a bond between two men would have been a bond between equals.Just as we can’t know how Shakespeare intended audiences to interpret Olivia and Orsino’s love for Cesario, we can’t know if he wants us to understand Antonio’s feelings as sexual desire, or passionate friendship.

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Rather than getting angry with Viola for deceiving him, Orsino seems delighted, saying “I shall have share in this most happy wreck.” (V.i.) Yet he continues to address Viola as “Boy” or “Cesario” even after he knows Cesario is really Viola.

Perhaps the most overt references to homoeroticism in Twelfth Night come from the relationship between Sebastian and Antonio.

While Sebastian doesn’t indicate that he has romantic feelings for Antonio, Antonio often expresses his adoration and love for Sebastian.

The intensity of his feelings seems to imply erotic interest, as when he tells Sebastian “I could not stay behind you.

Shakespeare, having also lived in this time of change, could be trying to satisfy the people who are trying to find things out for themselves.

Twelfth Night Essay Feminism

He could be trying to display to the people, and let the people question themselves, and wonder, whether females are who they were said to be, and men, likewise.

It was also during The Renaissance, which is also the rebirth of learning, which this play was born.

It was a period of change, questioning and vitality.

In Twelfth Night, Viola dresses as the male Cesario in order to gain entry into Orsino’s court.

In Elizabethan England, women were not allowed to act professionally, and female parts were all performed by men, so Viola would have actually been played by a male actor, dressing as a woman dressing as a man.

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