William Shakespeare 's Twelfth Night Essay

1359 Words Sep 25th, 2015 6 Pages
William Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night and the film Shakespeare in Love deal with the complexities of gender and sexuality. Even though the play Twelfth Night was published nearly four hundred years before Shakespeare in Love was released, Shakespeare’s play represents a more modern outlook on gender. Both materials involve cross-dressing, but cross-dressing is more of a feature in Shakespeare in Love, while Twelfth Night actually delves into the complexities of what it means to be either male or female. My belief is that one’s gender does not necessarily coincide with one’s biological sex. While transgendered people are still struggling to be accepted in today’s world, they have been experiencing much more acceptance than they have in the past. This raises the question of what determines gender if it is not necessarily determined by what is between our legs. Society dictates what is considered masculine and feminine. As a result men and women are expected to behave a certain way. In some ways, gender can be seen as a performance because it would be difficult for a man or woman to fit under every category that is associated with his or her gender. For example, men are usually expected to be strong and tough. Some men may actually have a macho persona and some men may just be pretending to have that persona because it is expected of them. The same applies to women, who are usually perceived as delicate and fragile. Social attitudes towards gender have slowly started to…

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