Analysis Of The Play ' Twelfth Night ' Essay

1398 Words Nov 30th, 2015 null Page
After all the inadvertent gayness, cases of mistaken identity, and awkward sexual tension present in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, our protagonist, Viola, finds herself preparing for the marriage festivities at the end the final act. Heteronormativity has been reinstated with the correcting of the vaguely gendered parings: Viola finally gets to be with her darling Duke Orsino, and Olivia seems pleased with her replacement Cesario, Sebastian. A deeper analysis of the play, however, proposes that the significance of these romantic couples is not to institute heterosexuality as the societal norm, but rather challenge the idea that gender and sexuality are social constructs. Over the course of the play, the characters demonstrate how gender is not a firm role given at birth according to our genitalia and that sexuality is not as black and white as this time period made it seem. In the play, Viola does not just dress in boys clothes and present herself in that way. Instead, Viola’s disguise creates a third gender identity that is neither male nor female. She presents herself as a eunuch. Viola is meticulous about this detail when discussing her plan for survival with the captain. After learning that Olivia has refused all petitions since the loss of her brother, Viola resolves: “I’ll serve this duke. Thou shalt present me as an eunuch to him. It may be worth thy pains, for I can sing/And speak to him in many sorts of music” (1.2.53-56). Since Viola’s singing abilities are not…

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