William Shakespearean multidimensional comedy Twelfth Night dismantles and obliterates socially constructed limitations regarding biological and assumed gender and Identity, thus emphasizing that nothing Is certain, rather, a matter of perspective. The reader to an emphatic extent becomes an integral part of the way language forms and shapes the reality of the play. Therefore, language instructs initial perceptions and the foundational reality of the reader but not final perceptions and ultimate reality.
Language constructs a character’s initial identity and reality, forever, the reader’s reconstruction of a reality reflective of their own perspective Is imperative to determine the final perception. The consistent blurring of the gendered identities of characters In Twelfth Night require the reader to meticulously interrogate their own ideas regarding the construction of biological and assumed gender and identity. Audiences are invited to further delve into the intricacies of the text to create their own meaning.
Identity is the product of distinctive characteristics that are both biological and assumed, thus, it is the interplay between contextual actions of assumed gender and how this parallels with biological sex. Twelfth Night challenges the notion that gender Is merely being In the state of male or female through androgynous characters such as Viola. If one completely disregards what they previously thought about biological and assumed gender upon beginning the text, it can enrich the depth of their interaction with the play.
The ambiguous language in Twelfth Night is subjective and not limited to a singular meaning or context. The reader must recognize their power to construct reality within the play and acknowledge that nothing is certain, rather, a matter of their own perspective of biological and assumed gender and identity. The title, Twelfth Night”, acts as dramatic exposition regarding the absence of boundaries within the play. An ‘anything goes’ mentality was present on the Twelfth Night epiphany due to festive, chaotic behavior.
The subtitle, What You Will” bestows a sense of power on the reader, Implying that personal Interpretation Is Imperative to determine the ‘reality of the play. The reader must discard predetermined limitations of Identity and illogical and assumed gender such as gender swapping and blurring, thereby stimulating further exploration. Also of significance, the setting: “Lyric”, a connotation which suggests an illusion. Many relationships in Twelfth Night are not as they seem on the surface due to their deceptive nature.
Most notably, Viola obscuring “what [she Is]” biologically. The name, subtitle and setting of the play sustain a strong sense of textual Integrity by adhering to pertinent themes of uncertainty and confusion. Thus, adhering to the notion that only a reader’s perspective can determine the laity of Twelfth Night due to the impossibility of complete certainty. Through the lens of literature, composers can construct a dramatists, hyperbolic reality where readers are observers rather than participators, thus, increasing the likeliness of unconventional ideas being accepted.
When language initially constructs Viola’s gender as a man” and *woman” It Immediately becomes acceptable to the reader as (Viola, Rosin; Rosin, Olivia; Olivia, Sebastian) rather than same sex (Olivia, Viola; Rosin, Corsair; Antonio, Sebastian) can be satirized by exploring the idea of blurred gendered identities. Also, the value of courtly love, which Rosin embodies, where the beloved is elevated above the lover, love is ever unsatisfied but always increasing in desire and human love is an ennobling force, can be satirized by exploring the duplicity of his character.
The likeliness of the reader accepting unconventional gendered identities is heightened when the social constructs are dismantled by Shakespearean intentional ambiguity. Thus the reality of the play, to an emphatic extent, is a product of the reader’s own perspective. Although the linguistic construction of characters initially dictates identity, an audience’s personal response to the character shapes final perceptions. Thus, one’s personalized perception is different to that which appears to be explicitly stated.
In constructing characters, gaps and silences in the play are Just as important as what is directly said. Therefore, an audience must observe the actions and underlying intent of characters, as actions define true identity rather than words. The stage direction of ‘Olivia removes her veil’, although not spoken, is still a crucial turning point in the play as it foreshadows the relationship with Olivia and Viola. Through Viola’s dialogue and dialogue about her, her biological identity as a woman and assumed identity as a male is incessantly on the cycle of construction and deconstruction.
The reader must construct their own perception of what they believe is reflective of Viola’s true identity such as her biological gender as a woman”, or, the gender she assumes as a “man” regardless of sex. The reader’s initial perception of Viola is constructed through her hesitant tone as a dubious female character that questions everything to determine her own actions. Viola is reliant on direction from he sailors as she asks “and what should I do in Lyric? ‘ and what think you sailors? ‘ which accentuates her vulnerability by allowing her actions to be determined by another.
However, when she assumes the identity of a man she adopts a commanding voice and demands that they “lead [her] on” in an imperative tone. If deconstructed, the reader may identify the paradoxical nature of how the sailor still leads her and thus the transformation from female to male is not truly complete. Initial perceptions shape the foundational reality of the reader, however the reader’s IANAL, personalized perspective determines the ultimate reality and gendered identity of characters, specifically whether Viola is a male or female, or both.
If an individual deconstructs Twelfth Night, they self authorities the exploration of the multifarious dimensions of which the play derives its subtitle of ‘What You Will”. The literary theory of deconstruction, developed by French philosopher Jacques Deride, may be applied by audiences to personally interact with the play. Deride stated that “language” is ‘in itself living” and that writing is the dead part of language”. Thus, coercing the reader to undertake an impervious reading of Twelfth Night by reiterating personal perspectives are emphatically derived beyond the surface of language.
It is assumed that it is difficult to develop a fresh perspective of biological and assumed gender due to the age and diversity of existing interpretations. Encourages substantiate perspectives to emerge from dismantled language, therefore enabling reality to be determined by the reader’s own perspective. Language has the potential to grant a substantial amount power to the beholder, animally, power may construct a distorted reality when no meaning is attached.
The power of language to shape Rosin’s reality is somewhat undermined when Olivia describes Rosin’s efforts to woo her as “feigned”. In his opening soliloquy, Rosin capitalists on the cleverness of his flowery language such as “receive as the sea, enough enters there” in an attempt to construct his reality through his initially perceived “noble” identity. Although Rosin is established through imperative and assured language such as “play on” and “give [him] excess”, this merely distorts his laity as there is no emotive attachment to his words, rendering them void.
As a “bachelor”, readers assume Rosin seeks a meaningful love, yet his excessively formalized method of courting undermines any sentiment his words may have meant. Rosin elevates Olivia as he remarks me thought she purged the air of pestilence” and determines that her “beauty’ is “unmatchable”. He merely “loves” Olivia for what he believes she is, this false projection undermining the sentiment of his words as it is not her true self he praises. This renders his words invalid and disallows for true emotive expression.
In exploiting courtly love, Rosin endeavors to gain power through the perceived nobility of human love, which, enforces his masculinity but also his ego-eccentric, superficial nature. Consequently, this imposes the notion that language is not absolute, rather, determined by perspective. Gender may be seen as a role to play rather than a true definition of identity, therefore, it is merely an illusion. Thus, the reader must “make way for the illusion that Shakespeare wishes the reader to believe” and evaluate the relevance of gender swapping.
Viola persuades the captain to “conceal [her] what [she] is” which poses he question to the reader, what is she? If she is a woman assuming the role of a male, is she any less of a male than she is a female? If gender is merely a role to play, is she not more male than she is female as that is what she now identifies as? She reveals ‘[she] is not what [she] plays” further highlighting that gender is solely an adoptive role and not biologically determined.
Viola embodies a state of assumed, idealistic androgyny that dismantles barriers constructed by biological gender. Viola recognizes she embodies both genders through her revelation of as I am man, my Tate is desperate for my master’s love. /As I am woman, now, alas the day’. However, dismantled conventions evoke confusion regarding when, or if, Viola stops talking as Corsair and starts talking as Viola. When Viola demands to “let [her] see [Olive’s] face” she goes “out of [her] text” and begins to talk biologically as Viola and not adoptively as Corsair.
Olive’s veil conceals her true identity until ‘[they] draw the curtain” for Viola, whom has exceeded what she “studied” and instigated trust through blank verse. Ergo, to reveal one’s true identity one must have a degree of rust in the person they reveal it to. Viola’s androgynous identity is ambiguous as she declares [what she] is and [what she] would are as secret as maidenhead”, therefore, the reader must base their evaluation on the fragments they receive. Viola asserts the reality and perspective the reader has constructed, considering what gender the character assumes.
Although led to assume certain characteristics may only be accessible to a particular gender, this is purely the illusion Shakespeare wishes the reader to believe. Rosin speaks of Olivia by capitalizing on stereotypically feminine qualities such as her Numerous” nature, implying she is modeled on the Madonna who represents virginity and purity. Furthermore, the sailor also refers to her as the “daughter of a count” as her identity is drawn from that of her father, adhering to the value of filial obligation.
Rosin remarks that Olive’s “sweet perfections” will be ruled by “one self king”, suggesting she is a projection of an Elizabethan woman, thus outlining the submissive role of Olivia. In contrast, Viola’s oxymoron statement of “farewell, fair cruelty” capitalists on Olivia possessing stereotypically masculine characteristics. Ergo, Olivia is equally in a state of idealistic androgyny and merely converges between her biological and obscured, assumed gender. Therefore, Viola and Olivia purely explore the malleability of assumed and biological gender by refusing to choose either.
If one recognizes their role in the reality of a character’s obscured gendered identity, they evoke, to an emphatic extent, a genuine awareness of a character’s construct. Therefore it can be seen, that William Shakespearean multidimensional comedy Twelfth Night to an emphatic extent dismantles and obliterates socially constructed imitations regarding biological and assumed gender and identity, thus emphasizing that nothing is certain, rather, a matter of perspective.
Due to social constructs being removed from the equation and replaced with ambiguity, the reader is forced to leave initial perceptions of biological and assumed gender and identity behind. Thus, the reader assess gender and identity as raw concepts through the lens of their own interpretation of reality manifested through language. Ergo, language instructs initial perceptions and the foundational reality of the reader but not final perceptions and ultimate reality.