Event Title

Queer Theater: The Performance of Gender and Sexuality in William Shakespeare’s As You Like It

Faculty Mentor

Matthew Fike, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of English

Location

West Center, Room 217

Start Date

21-4-2017 2:45 PM

Description

My essay argues that gender and sexuality are a performance that is influenced by the environment of the characters in William Shakespeare’s As You Like It. A critical point raised by Nancy K. Hayles is that when Rosalind is disguised as Ganymede, she finds it easy to perform the role of a male. The concept of gender (and sexuality) as a performance forms the foundation of my argument. I also support my argument with queer theorist Judith Butler’s ideas on gender and sexuality as a performance. My thesis is “Shakespeare’s As You Like It derails the conventions of sexuality and gender, proclaiming the idea that they are performative in nature and influenced by a character’s environment.” My essay is an examination of gender and sexuality in As You Like It, involving the context of early modern England, Shakespearean theater, the mythology of Ganymede, and Shakespeare’s references to Marlowe’s Hero and Leander. I argue that gender and sexuality are a performance, especially in the Forest of Arden, because Rosalind is in disguise as Ganymede and Orlando play acts with her. I was able to conclude that the location is a necessary device that affects the outcome of a performance of gender and sexuality, as well as the mythology of Ganymede being an essential component to understanding Rosalind’s performance of Ganymede.

Course Assignment

ENGL 305 – Fike

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Apr 21st, 2:45 PM

Queer Theater: The Performance of Gender and Sexuality in William Shakespeare’s As You Like It

West Center, Room 217

My essay argues that gender and sexuality are a performance that is influenced by the environment of the characters in William Shakespeare’s As You Like It. A critical point raised by Nancy K. Hayles is that when Rosalind is disguised as Ganymede, she finds it easy to perform the role of a male. The concept of gender (and sexuality) as a performance forms the foundation of my argument. I also support my argument with queer theorist Judith Butler’s ideas on gender and sexuality as a performance. My thesis is “Shakespeare’s As You Like It derails the conventions of sexuality and gender, proclaiming the idea that they are performative in nature and influenced by a character’s environment.” My essay is an examination of gender and sexuality in As You Like It, involving the context of early modern England, Shakespearean theater, the mythology of Ganymede, and Shakespeare’s references to Marlowe’s Hero and Leander. I argue that gender and sexuality are a performance, especially in the Forest of Arden, because Rosalind is in disguise as Ganymede and Orlando play acts with her. I was able to conclude that the location is a necessary device that affects the outcome of a performance of gender and sexuality, as well as the mythology of Ganymede being an essential component to understanding Rosalind’s performance of Ganymede.