As You Like It | Literature Criticism Critical Essay by Valerie Traub

This literature criticism consists of approximately 42 pages of analysis & critique of As You Like It.
This section contains 12,335 words
(approx. 42 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by Valerie Traub

SOURCE: “The Homoerotics of Shakespearean Comedy,” in Desire and Anxiety: Circulations of Sexuality in Shakespearean Drama, Routledge, 1992, pp. 117-44.

In the following essay, Traub compares the representation of homoerotic desire in As You Like It and Twelfth Night, proposing that the early modern theatrical practice of boy actors playing female roles made it possible for Shakespeare to depict multiple sexual desires in both these comedies.

The phenomenon of boy actors playing women's parts in Shakespearean comedy has engendered analyses primarily along three axes. The boy actor: (1) is merely a theatrical convention in the lineage of medieval drama; (2) is a political convention specifically necessitated by the determination to keep women, excepting Elizabeth I, off any public stage or platform; or (3) is an embodiment of the meta-dramatic theme of identity itself: always a charade, a masquerade, other. Certainly it is...

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This section contains 12,335 words
(approx. 42 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Valerie Traub