A young director's examination how gender is performed on stage especially within the works of William Shakespeare

20 November 2012

Changing Sex and Bending Gender

The following quotation by Alison Shaw just grabbed my attention. It is from a book called Changing Sex and Bending Gender (2005) which I am ploughing through as I attempt to fill out my thesis proposal (due on Friday; still not done...)

'Short-term gender reversals in ritual, carnivale and theatre may provide symbolic challenges to conventional categories, but cross-gender impersonation is often highly stereotypical, usually serving to reinforce, for the audience, local ideas of femininity or masculinity as much as they challenge them.'

When it comes to men playing women I would agree (see post below about Love's Labour's Lost) but I'm not sure the same can be said when women play men. Then, there seems to be an effort to neutralise one's physical sex, rather than stereotype someone else's. I'll be interested to see how the upcoming Julius Caesar fits in with this.

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