Presentation on theme: " Introduction As the dream-like setting Illyria, Twelfth Night is constructed by illusion and delusion. Through Viola’s disguise, Twelfth Night presents."— Presentation transcript:
Introduction As the dream-like setting Illyria, Twelfth Night is constructed by illusion and delusion. Through Viola’s disguise, Twelfth Night presents the blurred boundary of sexuality and gender. In the mirroring world of Illyria, characters as well as the audience is trapped in the illusion and delusion and the similarity that Shakespeare cunningly manipulates.
Disguise and False Identity Viola’s disguise enables her to switch between the girly-like pageboy and the proud Cesario. Viola & Orsino : The external male look surpasses the reality of Viola’s female nature. Viola & Olivia : With male disguise, Viola appears to be a more masculine valentine than the real man Orsino.
Disguise enables Viola to win Orsino’s favor but also leads her to the danger of homosexuality when facing Olivia’s affection—thus, she guards herself with arrogance. Viola’s lurking femininity : unlike Rosalind in As You Like It, whose femininity is erased while disguised as a man, Viola’s female consciousness is never ceased and keeps lurking under her male disguise.
Illusion that Based on Delusion Orsino & Olivia : similarly manipulated by illusions that are sprung from melancholy Orsino, who spoils himself in imagination than engages with real people, chooses simultaneously which to believe regardless of the reality Olivia indulges herself in the sad mourning for her dead brother.
Malvolio & Viola : the desire to transgress social classes & Shakespeare Malvolio : deceived by his own greed to obtain Olivia’s power and money regardless of his social class rather than being deluded by Sir Toby and Maria Viola : determines to win Orsino’s love and shares his power despite the Duke’s affection for Olivia
The Dangerous and Unstable Sexuality Since gender and identity can be constructed through disguise, sexuality is thus unstable and exchangeable. While Cesario / Viola is defined in one sexuality, the other side of his / her sexuality is forced to be changed and is at risk as well. Orsino’s anxious homophobic sexuality
The ambiguous sexuality Orsino : effeminate and his undecided sexuality Olivia : resolute / dominant attitude and her frail sexuality for Viola Viola : male disguise and frail femininity The illusive sexuality is bound to be broken on the Renaissance stage.
The sexual dilemma and the right mate Does the sexual confusion really disappear after each one has chosen the right mate? Orsino and Viola : the Duke insists to confirm Viola’s true identity before he promises to marry her. Viola never really appears in her woman weeds again on the stage.
Despite the seemingly harmonious ending, sexuality of Orsino, Viola, and Olivia is never determined but further fused into one another at the end of the play. Viola’s mysterious identity Stephen Greenblatt : “even at the end of the play Orsino seems betrothed to his effeminate boyfriend” (135).
Conclusion Viola, Orsino, Olivia, and Sebastian confirm the reality and solve their dilemmas at the end. Malvolio : his rejection of the reality underlines the reflection of reality and illusion in this play. He is defined as being mad and thus silenced and alienated from the stage.
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