The Twelfth Night By William Shakespeare Essay

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Play writers from time to time enjoyed creating characters that conflicted societies constraints on their biological sex. Some of these writers include William Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, and Bernard Shaw. Having the Twelfth Night, The Importance of Being Earnest and Pygmalion three very well-known plays where the authors create characters who defy their gender roles in society. As these plays defy and promote the importance of society’s view of genders these plays do comply in some of society demands upon people based on their biological creation.
Twelfth Night takes the audience on a gender-bending journey, while maintaining all the elements of true love throughout. In Act 3, scene 1, Olivia displays the confusion created for both characters and audience as she takes on the traditionally male role of courting or wooing her romantic interest, Cesario, who is also disguised. Olivia praises Cesario’s beauty and then addresses him with the belief that his “scorn” only reveals his hidden love. However, Olivia’s mistaken interpretation of Cesario’s manners is only the surface problem presented by her speech. The reality of Cesario’s gender, the active role Olivia takes in persuing him/her, and the duality of word meaning in this passage threatens to turn the traditional courting process upside down, or as Olivia stated “noon to noon”. One of the biggest contradictions to traditional society in that time is the possibility of Olivia being in love with a woman, Viola. As this play…

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