Twelfth Night Gender Analysis
The implicit message that stereotypes in Twelfth Night are challenged is misleading. Shakespeare conveys a general message about social issues in their society that is later contradicted in the play. The outsiders of the plotline, Malvolio and Antonio, remain lower class citizens that are taken advantage of by higher class. Olivia acts foolishly, further promoting the weaker women stereotype. Love is not questioned for its authenticity and is taken at first hand. Through theses conflicts Shakespeare undermines his argument that stereotypes are challenged.
Shakespeare appears to challenge society's view of gender roles, but instead enforces the stereotype that women are more irrational than men. Olivia strays from the stereotypical gender roles when she rejects the Duke’s offer of his love, “Your lord does know my mind. I cannot love him;’’ (1.5.246). She is independent in this instance, as she does not accept the Duke’s offer and remains firm in her decision. She ignores someone who has the same social ranking as her, which in her society, she risks being an outcast proving her to be irrational. The irrationality she has is evident through the repercussions of her marriage to Sebastian, or more so the lack of repercussions. She is …show more content…
The challenging of gender roles results in enforcing the idea that women are weaker than men. The outsiders are judged on social rank rather than personality. Love is seen and taken by While trying to say this and failing, he is proving that he judges people based on stereotypes as he reverts to stereotypical happy endings based on each character's