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Flashcards in Twelfth Night Critics Deck (13)
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Diana Rigg, who played Viola in 1966, Gender

“I think the really clever thing that Shakespeare posed… is a sexuality which is not based on extremes of feminism or masculinity that we have nowadays”


Northrop Frye, Gender

"Viola as Cesario represents .... an indeterminate middle ground"


Marjorie Garber, Gender

"Offers a challenge to easy notions of binarity, putting into question the categories of 'female'and 'male'"


Against Viola challenging Gender

“Viola uses her disguise as a man to pursue a romance – the feminine sphere – rather than something more challenging to masculine authority. This therefore reinforces gender conventions.”


Maria, Elliot Krieger, 1979

“The conclusion confirms the aristocratic fantasy (Maria is, discreetly, kept off-stage) that clarification is achieved when people are released from indulgence and restored to the degree of greatness with which they were born.”


Maria, Simon Callow, Interview with Heather Neil

“The relationship with Aguecheek is an entirely unreal one because it’s based on what they get when they drink [...] Maria is the one real relationship in the whole play because everything else is based on fantasy.”


Antonio, Laurie Osborne (a New Historicist critic)

explains in her article "Antonio's Pardon" that from the beginning of Antonio's discourse, it is apparent that he is a homosexual. His passionate speeches to Sebastian are clear depictions of his feelings (3,3).


Antonio, Nancy Lindheim

Antonio and Sebastian offer a not-to-be-reordered example of one male’s love for another. To the extent that this unscrambling the lovers depends upon Elizabethan assumptions about binary gender designations and normative expectations of male and female behaviour…


Antonio, Nancy Lindheim

Much of Antonio’s language demonstrates the early modern overlap in vocabulary for all strong positive feelings, the extent to which a single language was applied unselfconsciously in discourses of erotic love, friendship, and religion alike.


Orsino, Joseph Summers, in "The Masks of Twelfth
Night," from Twentieth Century Interpretations of Shakespeare,

although Orsino is "A noble duke, in nature as in name" (1.2), he is bound by his own mask of love."


Viola, Carol Neely in the article "Shakespeare's Cressida: A Kind of Self

"Viola forgets that society has bound her sex by regulations regarding proper roles; therefore, she sets out on a quest, trans-gendered, removing all restraints, and becomes a liberated individual"


Viola, New Critic L.G. Salingar, in, "The Design of Twelfth

...agrees that disguise helps create a barrier from dangers, especially the sexual advances of men (16). Salingar, however, names the disguise a "mask,"
and asserts that in society, one must adopt a mask for self-preservation (17).


Orsino and Olivia "Shakespeare's Romances" Northrop Frye

Orsino and Olivia are in search of self-knowledge. Orsino has no"real" concept of self-knowledge because he falls in love with the idea of being in love. Such a character, says Frye, could never understand who he is because he
has refused to look deep within himself to discover what he truly wants in acompanion. Olivia, states Frye, takes up her own form of "love-sickness" and pines for the affections of a man who is really a woman.