Twelfth Night | Critical Essay by Irene G. Dash

This literature criticism consists of approximately 53 pages of analysis & critique of Twelfth Night.
This section contains 15,698 words
(approx. 53 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Irene G. Dash

Critical Essay by Irene G. Dash

SOURCE: "Challenging Conventions: Twelfth Night" in Women's Worlds in Shakespeare's Plays, University of Delaware Press, 1997, pp. 211-44.

In the essay below, Dash stresses the similarities between Viola and Olivia as young, single, upper-class women who, for a brief period, challenge patriarchal restraints on female independence. She also calls attention to the textual alternations put in place by generations of theatrical directors which have minimized the difficulties Viola and Olivia face as they try to resolve the tension between erotic desire and the norms of society.

"But if she cannot love you, sir?"
"I cannot be so answer'd."

(II.iv.87-88)

Endowed with wealth, their lives graced by neither fathers, brothers, husbands, nor lovers, the two major women characters of Twelfth Night briefly challenge patterns of patriarchy. Not revolutionaries, but merely young women grasping at suddenly available freedom, each...

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This section contains 15,698 words
(approx. 53 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Irene G. Dash