William Shakespeare | Juliet Dusinberre

This literature criticism consists of approximately 27 pages of analysis & critique of William Shakespeare.
This section contains 7,933 words
(approx. 27 pages at 300 words per page)
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Juliet Dusinberre

SOURCE: "Androgyny: Crossdressing and Disguise," in Shakespeare and the Nature of Women, 2nd Edition, Macmillan Press Ltd., 1996, pp. 231-71.

In the following excerpt originally published in 1975, Dusinberre discusses Shakespeare's use of women in male disguise as a means to more fully explore the nature of femininity.

The boy actor had a special affinity with those women who offended Elizabethan and Jacobean society by wearing men's clothes. Condemned by opponents of the stage for dressing as a woman, he was often also guilty of disguising that woman as a man. Viola's melancholy reflection when she sees Olivia's ring fell on well-tuned ears:

My master loves her dearly
And I (poor monster!) fond as much on him.1

Viola was a monster on two counts: a man acting a woman and a woman in breeches. The woman in theatrical disguise aroused the same fear in moralists as the masculine...

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This section contains 7,933 words
(approx. 27 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Juliet Dusinberre
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