Twelfth Night: A Reflection on Gender and Sexuality (Other (Not Listed) Sample)
I included the requirements in the instruction document above. For the part including a reflection on gender and sexuality: I'm a straight woman and don't identify with anything else. Also, please make sure to cite images used for illustrations.
Final: Analytical Portfolio Paper
Throughout the semester, you have had assigned readings from Theatre & Sexuality by Jill Dolan. Last week, you read or watched As You Like It or Twelfth Night. You've also had lectures and viewings that gave you a holistic and complex view of the performative nature of gender and how gender, sex, and sexuality have been portrayed on stage throughout time. This assignment ties all of these elements together.
Step One: Choose the play you will focus on: As You Like It or Twelfth Night.
Step Two: Explore your personal experience of this play in relation to what you have learned about gender and sexuality on stage in this course. What is your experience reading or watching this play in relationship to your own perception of sex or sexuality? Engage your own impressions. Try to write a critical analysis of how gender and sexuality are portrayed in the play. Be sure to reference Theatre and Sexuality by Jill Dolan. Cite your sources.
Step Three: Include a close reading of a specific scene or moment in the play. (Remember, you have already practiced close reading skills in your assignment on Falsettos.) Propose an argument about gender or sexuality related to that scene and connect it to your critical analysis/personal reflection.
Step Four: This is the creative element of your assignment. Write a paragraph that serves as a "pitch" memo for a production based on the text of the play. Your production pitch should be some kind of interpretation or adaptation that combines your personal response with your critical analysis. In this pitch, try to be convincing. This is a production proposal. Describe what you want to accomplish - how do you want the audience to question their assumptions? Then describe how you could use production choices such as casting and costuming to cause the audience to think critically about the issues that are important to you.
Step Five: Revisit the scene that you wrote about in your close reading (Step Three). Write a few sentences about how this scene would be played in your production. Include at least two images that help make your point.
About 1500 - 2000 words, double-spaced, plus your illustrations.
MLA in-text citations.
Include a Works Cited page.
Structure: Include an introductory paragraph with a clear thesis. Each step in this process should be at least one paragraph and clearly identified. Write a conclusion that ties all steps together.
Your paper will demonstrate your familiarity and knowledge of the texts as well as your own, original analysis of the material.
Paper must reference the Jill Dolan book.
LINK TO REQUIRED SOURCE:
Twelfth Night, reflection on gender and sexuality
Viewed as one of Shakespeare’s finest comedies with Romance, Twelfth Night continues to receive praise as an evocative and fascinating tale of love, personal discovery and sexual desire. The last two factors here are the main building blocks which this paper will expound on. The play however, concerns a love triangle in between two characters, Illyrian, Olivia and Viola. Critical assessments of this play have focused on the dramatic play’s captivating characters, carrying the themes of sexuality, love and gender. Generally, this paper will give a holistic view of the performative nature of gender and how gender, sex and sexuality have been portrayed in stage throughout time.
Drawing these definitions back to Twelfth Night, we can see how the confusion in terms of who is actually what and who is really into whom might provoke thought and discussion among audience members. What is “normal” for a man or woman, what really defines masculine or feminine, what do these designations even mean and who do they serve? Can we control how or why we fall in love with another, and what is it that drives us to even love at all?
On my personal experience with this play, when presented with two options: male or female, gay or straight, masculine or feminine, we cannot but help uphold that one always privileges one term over the other. In fact, “male” is only truly defined by what it is not: “female.” We can similarly apply that to any binary: the one thing only has meaning in that it is not the other. When we begin to look for those third terms such as androgynous, bisexual, intersex we disrupt binary and place things in continuum which is necessarily ambiguous terrain (Dolan 19).
The real transgression of mixing cross-dressing and cross-sex desire, a frequent trope in transvestite comedy, occurs in our modern conceptualization of such a possibility. This tension between historical norms and modern conceptions of normalcy helps open Twelfth Night to different interpretations, which is one of the unifying principles of queer
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