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Lecture

ENG220Y1 Lecture Notes - Blazon, Eunuch, Middle Temple


Department
English
Course Code
ENG220Y1
Professor
Elizabeth Harvey

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ENG220Y1 – LECTURE NOTES
Twelfth Night
November 6, 2013
Twelfth Night:
Introduction:
First performed at the Middle Temple in 1602, a part of the inns of court
The inns of court were institutions that were the middle ground between grammar
school, universities and the law; finishing schools for gentlemen for after finishing grammar
school and university
A pool of talent
To help those studying law, to enter the courts
A place of creativity because there was a lot of theatrical performances and writing,
productivity that was competitive
Was first performed on the feast of epiphany; the twelfth day after christmas
o= the festival commemorating the manifestation of christ to the gentiles in the
persons of the magi; observed on January 6th
o"epiphany" means to manifest, to show
The play is also dependent on a classic festival, the saturnalia, the roman carnivalesque
on December 17th
oA carnival is when the world turns upside down
oReversal of class structures, the poor became the aristocrats; the rich became
the subjects
oA time of disguise
oStructures of authority was reversed
oThe lower half of the body become more important (urinating, defalcating, sex)
oAbout social climbing, overriding class structures

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Inversion:
About class and about sexuality
Stephen Orgel's "Impersonations"
During Shakespeare's time, male actors were playing women roles
Double layering when a male plays a woman pretending to be a man; what's the true
gender?
Confounding gender identity and sexuality
Makes us question how we love people
Galen Homology:
Studies were relevant during this time
Isomorphism
Developed by Galen (131-201 CE)
Believed that there was only one body, the male body; every part of the female body
except the reproduction system was only isomorphic to that of the male organs
Questions regarding whether or not people could change their gender were formed
during this time
Women were cold, if they heated up their inner "male" parts hung out and became
visible
Begs the question if men could change into female bodies; this was a fear since males
were superior at the time
Thought that men who hung around too much women and were too melancholy made
them effeminate
The function of clothing is double; it shows what's underneath (example: cock piece,
prosthetic breasts) and has the ability to hide what's underneath
Plato's Symposium:
The play could be a silent intertext of Plato
In the Symposium, there's a dinner conversation about love
There were three sexes at the time: male, female and androgen (both male and female)
Humans had four feet, four arms, two sexual organs, two faces
Apollo cut all these humans in half
This relates to this erotic melancholy in the play; finding one's soul mate; this idea
underscores the idea that we're looking for our second half
Cesario Name Origin:
Name refers to cesarian section, to be not woman born, with the female genitalia
Signifies Viola is "cut", severed from true self and femininity, cut from her twin in a
shipwreck; a traumatic birth from the ocean, severed from trauma
Relates to the Symposium; identical twins are separated
Cognitive Theory in Shakespeare:
Mary Thomas Crane's "Shakespeare's Brain"
Shakespeare likes using puns
Words' multiple meanings are associated with their own distinctive discursive fields,
overlapping fields
Examples:
o suit
Means to be in service
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To follow, to pursue
litigation, law suit
To woo or court a woman, solicitation
A suit of clothes, connote social ranking
oGate
Gait = manner of walking or stepping; to go one's own way
Gate = an opening in a wall, made for the purpose of entrance and exit
Act One:
(1.1.1-15)
oSelfish love
oOrsino is melodramatic
oIs subjected to force of nature (love is compared to the sea) and is conscious of it
oMakes him articulate; the pain is a delicious pain
oLove is expressed as food; excessiveness; over indulgence
oMusic evokes emotion, grief, love, pain
oAppetite of love yearns for music, as we yearn for food
o"violets" = irony, refers to Viola
Viola means viola d'amour (violet)
Refers to flowers, maidenheads, euphemism for menstration , fertility
o"quick" and "fresh" = love is quick, comes out of nowhere
o"Fantastical" = refers to love as imagination
Feste fakes his unintelligence
Orsino, fanciful project, imagining the love
The idea of love is imaginary, he doesn't really love Olivia
Malvolio
(1.1.16-40)
oHunting metaphor
Allusion to Aecteon and Diana
A pun on the heart; the seat of passion; the sound that it makes when
you're near a beloved
You think you're the pursuer, when in fact you're the prey; love makes you
the prey
oOlivia veils herself from the world
To keep the remembrance of her brother
A shrine for him
oAffections are associated with a kingdom, to a brother who is no more
(1.2.38-60)
o"suits"
The captain's character suits Viola's; he is someone who can help her
Alludes to Viola who will change her suit to that of a man
She will be in suit, a servant to the Duke
o"eunuch"
Refers to castrated males
Ironic because the actor playing Viola is a prepubescent boy; he reflects a
eunuch with a female-like voice
(1.4.23-41)
oCross gendered affection that establishes through the messenger, Cesario
oThis is a play about messages, go-betweens
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