The three William Shakespeare’s plays, The Twelfth Night, Hamlet and ‘The Winter’s Tale’ share the same theme “gender and sexuality”. In the three plays, the plight of women is greatly addressed.
Theme of Gender and Sexuality
The Twelfth Night portrays a sexual mess where people go to various heights to win the people they love. Hamlet shows how men regard women as morally corrupt because they follow their hearts desire. In ‘The Winter's Tale’ King Leontes greatly portray hatred for women as he mistreats her wife and daughter on accusation of infidelity (Shakespeare 36). In ‘The Twelfth Night’, gender is the topic that has been most discussed. The play portrays a sexual mess where every character is in love with another but circumstances keep them apart (Shakespeare & Rich 17). In the play, Viola who is a woman who disguises herself as a man in order to gain access to King Orsino’s place and win his affection. The Twelfth Night is full of gender uncertainty, where Viola, who disguises herself as a man, is in love with Orsino but cannot tell him. Olivia on the other hand falls in love with Voila (Cesario) who is a woman. Orsino, the Duke of Illyria is in love with Olivia who is in love with Cesario. Most characters in the play including Orsino notice Cesario’s beauty not knowing that she is a woman (Shakespeare & Rich 37). Another aspect of gender uncertainty is seen in Antonio and Sebastian.
Antonio is deep in love with Sebastian, his male friend although his desires go unsatisfied. The homoeroticism character can be seen in the relation between Cesario and Olivia although unknowingly and also between Antonio and Sebastian (Shakespeare & Rich 49). When the gender uncertainty and sexual deceptions are ironed out both Olivia and Orsino establish a normal heterosexual relationship. The relationship between Orsino and Viola is unresolved as the play comes to close. Shakespeare leaves things vague as Orsino is seen comfortable with Viola’s...