In As You Like It, Jaques states that "All the world's a stage,/ And all the men and women in it merely players./ They have they're exits and their entrances,/ And one man in his time plays many parts" (II, vii, 138-141). That very well might be true. But if life is a stage traditionally controlled by a man, what parts does that leave for the women of the world? The female answer to this question is that if you don't like your part, change it, and if you don't like the direction, follow someone else. And that is exactly what all-female Shakespeare does. It explores roles for women, roles that women don't traditionally get to play. All-female productions of Shakespeare, as well as female-directed Shakespeare, differ from tradition productions. Female-centered shows tend to revolve around the idea that gender matters, but it does not matter any more than age, politics, socio-economic concerns, or any other defining characteristics found in any given person. Female directors tend to want to stretch the meaning in Shakespeare's plays, be radical, new, and expansive. Female directors gravitate toward a conception of the show filled with characters that happen to be specific genders, not gendered people who happen to be individuals. This makes the theme of the play revolve more around relationships and not around gender stereotypes and a confirmation of traditional gender constructs. Clearly, gender does matter to female directors. However, gender is only another means of adding dimension to a character. For female directors, the characters' relationships are more important than their gender, and it is through the exploration of gender that these directors seek to push limits and expand bo...
... middle of paper ...
...st At Theatre 3." Greenwich Village Gazette. Available online: http://www.judithshakespeare.org/main_reviews.htm
Merritt, Erin. Personal Interview. November 6, 2002, via email.
Neely, Carol Thomas. Lovesickness, Gender, and Subjectivity: Twelfth Night and As You Like It. A Feminist Companion to Shakespeare. Blackwell Publishers. 2000.
Shakespeare, William. As You Like It. The Norton Shakespeare. W.W.Norton & Company, Inc. 1997.
Turner, Jeff. As You Like It. On-stage Studies, Vol. 19. University of Colorado. 1996.
Werner, Sarah. Shakespeare and Feminist Performance. Routledge. New York. 2001.
Woman's Will Website. Brochure. Available Online: http://www.womanswill.org/brochure.html
Zell, Allison Eve. "Measure for Measure: Sexual Downplay." TheatreMania.com. Available Online: http://www.malialoke.com/gwen/natalie/index.php?x=article_misc01.php
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Gender and Social Norms in As You Like It Shakespeare based his comedy As You Like It primarily on three other works. Its plot follows the basic structure of Rosalynde, published in 1590 by Thomas Lodge. The Tale of Gamelyn, written by an unknown author in the mid-fourteenth century, is a violent Middle English narrative that was found among Chaucer's papers and provides further details for Shakespeare's work. With the Forest of Ardenne serving as an escape for our main characters, Shakespeare takes his details from the countless Robin Hood ballads popular in Medieval England. This paper will examine how Shakespeare's adaptations and alterations of emphasis and plot from these... [tags: Shakespeare As You Like It Essays]
1683 words (4.8 pages)
- As You Like It: The Importance of the Secondary Characters As You Like It, by William Shakespeare, is a radiant blend of fantasy, romance, wit and humor. In this delightful romp, Rosalind stands out as the most robust, multidimensional and lovable character, so much so that she tends to overshadow the other characters in an audience's memory, making them seem, by comparison, just "stock dramatic types". Yet, As You Like It is not a stock romance that just happens to have Shakespeare's greatest female role.... [tags: Shakespeare As You Like It Essays]
1543 words (4.4 pages)
- Shakespeare uses the idea of disguise in many of his plays. It is used as an escape from the characters’ personalities and sometimes for comic effect. In As You Like it, the disguise becomes very comical as in the time it was written only men could act on stage. This could lead to much confusion and comedy in the roles of those in disguise. Disguise can give the freedom to a character to act how they like and a chance for them to show their views. It was in the 16th Century that there became an increased sense of self consciousness and identity.... [tags: Shakespeare, disguise, As You Like It, ]
1211 words (3.5 pages)
- Relationships in As You Like It "Pronounce that sentence on me, my liege. I cannot live out of her company"(Shakespeare quoted in Norton Anthology 1611). Who made these remarks about the dear Rosalind, was it Celia, the one whom she calls 'coz', or is Orlando the man that she is in love with. The question then becomes if Celia said these words what was her meaning. Is it that Celia is attracted to Rosalind as more than a friend or is this just an example of the female friendships of the time.... [tags: Shakespeare As You Like It Essays]
1433 words (4.1 pages)
- The Androgyne in As You Like It The androgyne is a strong figure that mentally joins the female and male characteristics together as one (American Heritage). Androgyny does not only refer to the physical senses it also refers to the cultural and social aspects of daily life. There are two main types of androgyny that were applied during the Renaissance which are referred to as mythic and satiric androgyny (Orgel, 38). Satiric androgyny mainly deals with "feminized male figures and unfixed, unstable individual identities, and is essentially negative," (Hermaphrodites, 1).... [tags: Shakespeare As You Like It Essays]
1550 words (4.4 pages)
- Sexuality in As You Like It In a romantic forest setting, rich with the songs of birds, the fragrance of fresh spring flowers, and the leafy hum of trees whistling in the wind, one young man courts another. A lady clings to her childhood friend with a desperate and erotic passion, and a girl is instantly captivated by a youth whose physical features are uncannily feminine. Oddly enough, the object of desire in each of these instances is the same person. In As You Like It, William Shakespeare explores the homoerotic possibilities of his many characters.... [tags: Shakespeare As You Like It Essays]
2612 words (7.5 pages)
- Gender and Politics in As You Like It William Shakespeare and the new millennium seem to be diametrically opposed, yet his works are having a renaissance of their own after 400 years in the public domain. Why have some major film producers revisited his works when their language and staging would seem to be hopelessly outdated in our society?Perhaps because unlike modern writers, who struggle with political correctness, Shakespeare speaks his mind with an uncompromising directness that has kept its relevance in this otherwise jaded world.... [tags: Shakespeare As You Like It Essays]
1815 words (5.2 pages)
- As You Like It - Rosalind and Celia A search for feminist criticism on William Shakespeare's comedy, As You Like It, uncovers a range of different aspects of the play and its players, but none is as well represented as the nature and dynamics of the relationship between Rosalind and Celia. Among other topics are cross dressing or female transvestism and male self-fashioning, which extrapolates on the mode of dress being an identity. A feminist view on Shakespeare examines the poet's defense of virtue in the play.... [tags: Shakespeare As You Like It Essays]
3120 words (8.9 pages)
- As You Like It is love: The Language of Love The most obvious concern of As You Like It is love, and particularly the attitudes and the language appropriate to young romantic love. This is obvious from the relationships between Orlando and Rosalind, Silvius and Phoebe, Touchstone and Audrey, and Celia and Oliver. The action of the play moves back and forth among these couples, inviting us to compare the different styles and to recognize from those comparisons some important facts about young love.... [tags: Shakespeare As You Like It Essays]
1784 words (5.1 pages)
- Gender and Coming of Age in Shakespeare’s As You Like It Shakespeare introduces the protagonists of his comedy, As You Like It, as youths mourning the absence of their fathers: Orlando remarks on the consequences of his father’s death and Rosalind first appears despairing over her father’s exile. He closes the play with the marriage of these youths. The absence of their respective fathers centrally figures into their courtship and preparation for marriage. Even more noticeable is the absence of all mothers—not a single mother or older wife appears in the play.... [tags: Shakespeare As You Like It Essays]
1841 words (5.3 pages)