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Twelfth Night Questions: The Aim Of Shakespeare (Coursework Sample)


Why does Shakespeare create female characters in Twelfth Night who disguise themselves as men?
Consider Twelfth Night and write responses to the following questions, being sure to cite lines from the play:

o What is Shakespeare saying about appropriate gender behavior?
o How does this reflect the cultural context of the period?
o What social constructs or stereotypes of gender from the Renaissance do we still have today?


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Twelfth Night Questions
The aim of Shakespeare creating female characters who disguise themselves as men is to show the issue of gender inequality. The women disguise as men so that they can be able to protect themselves. This is an indication of a society that considers the male gender to be safer as compared to women. Hence, pretending to be a man would place a woman in less risk of being hurt. Disguising one as a man would also make it easy for them to get a job such as in the case of Viola.
In the twelfth Night, Shakespeare makes it clear that both the male and the female gender ought to behave in a way which does not show disrespect to one another. He advocates for gender equality by criti

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