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ENG220Y1 - Twelfth Night - Lecture Notes.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Elizabeth Harvey

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 o A carnival is when the world turns upside down o Reversal of class structures, the poor became the aristocrats; the rich became the subjects o A time of disguise o Structures of authority was reversed o The lower half of the body become more important (urinating, defalcating, sex) o About social climbing, overriding class structures 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 • To follow, to pursue • litigation, law suit • To woo or court a woman, solicitation • A suit of clothes, connote social ranking o Gate • 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) o Selfish love o Orsino is melodramatic o Is subjected to force of nature (love is compared to the sea) and is conscious of it o Makes him articulate; the pain is a delicious pain o Love is expressed as food; excessiveness; over indulgence o Music evokes emotion, grief, love, pain o Appetite 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) o Hunting 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 o Olivia veils herself from the world • To keep the remembrance of her brother • A shrine for him o Affections 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) o Cross gendered affection that establishes through the messenger, Cesario o This is a play about messages, go-betweens o Duke chooses Cesario as the messenger to go to Olivia because he sees Cesario as no competition, he's less threatening because he's woman-like; this is ironic because Olivia ends up falling in love with him anyway •(1.5.35-50) o Word play o "cucullus non facit monachum" • = the habit doesn't make the monk • Is the opposite in Measure for Measure, habits do make the identity • Feste suggests that his intelligence is not disguised, only his exterior •(1.5.101-114) o Toby is surfeiting alcohol, likened to the opening of the play, when the Duke speaks of surfeiting food (in relation to love) o "gentle" • Refers to men of high status • Also refers to woman-ness o "lethargy" • Alludes to the river of forgetfulness • Olivia refuses to be lethargic, because she insists on remembering her dead brother o Cesario stands outside of this scene; opening of an enclosure •(1.5.after) o Cesario is depicted as an in-between or outside creature, literally because he's outside the scene / gate; figuratively because he's both man and woman o He's in the liminal stage •(1.5.147-172) o Olivia wears a veil o Sense of acting because Cesario memorizes a speech, ironic because these are all actors •(1.5.173-202) o "olive" • A pun on her name • Also means a peace offering •(1.5.203-236) o Diminishes Olivia's qualities o A blazon, a conventional one o Deconstructing the blazon •(1.5.237-254) o Cesario has caught Olivia's attention by saying he will wait outside her home; preparing to siege her castle (sexual reference?) o "parentage" • Has a class element o Seduction starts to happen •(1.5.259-277) o Is conscious that she's falling in love with him o Irony, thinking of him in the five-fold blazon; tongue, face, limbs, actions and spirit o Eyes were windows to the soul and connections to genitalia o Love as a disease, a plague Act Two: • (2.1.1-26) o The genealogy of Sebastian is revealed; identical twins o Possible homoerotic relationship; Antonio could have sexual attractions or desires to Sebastian o During this time, this type of language was used amongst male friends platonically; adds confusion as to whether or not the relationship between the two men is a friendship or romantic o An
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