NY Post Humans are designed to compartmentalize objects, ideas, and experiences. We wanted to look at somebody and immediately know certain things about them namely, were they trying to have sex with us, and were we trying to have sex with them. We would use visual cues to gather information about a person and tailor our behavior accordingly. That is one of the reasons why crossdressing, and those who crossdress, are often met with derision, distrust, and even distaste.
The men of Elizabethan society enjoy a prominent status based solely on gender, to which women are clearly outsiders.
Through these two instances of cross-dressing, Shakespeare presents class not in terms of socioeconomic status but in the benefits of being male. Although the three women all partake in cross-dressing as a means of undermining patriarchal constraint, the consequences vary as there are several interesting discrepancies in the motivation and outcome of the action.
Although Jessica is seemingly subverting the patriarchal stratification, she is in fact still subservient to her male counterpart.
The practice of cross-dressing becomes exceedingly important to practical applications later in the play because the women, specifically Portia, must interact with mainstream society. The resulting consequence of taking on a male facade ultimately provides empowerment for the otherwise subjugated women.
Shakespeare initially introduces Portia in a way that her wealth and socioeconomic status are immediately evident. Not only is Portia rich and stunningly beautiful, but she rounds out the image of a true Renaissance woman with her wit and intelligence.
Solely because she is female, Portia is subject to the limitations of patriarchal society despite her apparent intelligence and ability. She is controlled by her father even in death and therefore holds no independent control over her life. By taking on a male persona Portia is able, for the first time, to take unhindered control of her fate.
More so than any of the other women, Portia cross-dresses out of her own free will and desire to save Antonio. She has no immediate bond to Antonio and thus could have easily chosen to leave the situation to resolve itself.
However, she chooses to insert herself into the situation and consequently debunks preconceived notions regarding her gender.
Traditionally, men have dismissed women as illogical and frail beings in order to keep them subservient. In Act 4, Portia demonstrates the fallacy of this notion through her logical albeit manipulative freeing of Antonio.
Disguised as a man BalthasarPortia effectively intrudes upon the fraternal arena of the courtroom.
She publically engages in the practice of law, a profession which depends almost entirely on personal knowledge of history and precedent, on logic and reasoning, and on rhetoric; all areas of education which were at the time denied to women. During this scene the male characters remain oblivious: Portia even inspires other women to transcend their typical roles as defined by gender: It can be stated that Shakespeare has contradicted the conceived limitations of women in Elizabethan society.
Jessica, though she is portrayed as a submissive character which remains reactive rather than proactive, nevertheless breaks the constrictive binds of her gender and leaves the oppression of her father and his household. Regardless, these would-be feminists all meet the same fate: Choose Type of service.Abstract.
The Jew’s “fair daughter” in Shakespeare’s play The Merchant of Venice converts and marries a Christian, Lorenzo. Recent attention, however, to changing ideas of race and identity in the early modern period has brought into question the divisions of Christian/Jew/Moor.
Cross-Dressing in Merchant of Venice Essay. In William Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, gender roles are explored, culminating in two distinct scenes of cross-dressing - Cross-Dressing in Merchant of Venice Essay introduction.
The men of Elizabethan society enjoy a prominent status based solely on gender, to which women are clearly outsiders. Venetian merchant’s ships and spotlight in peril. By Jamie Rule on June 24, Leave a reply.
the most recent of which was “The Merchant of Venice.” This slight admission is not acknowledged by anyone, though and as soon as the cross-dressing ends, the women are treated just as they were before the display of intellect. The Law Cross-dressing Twice in the play, escapes are executed with the help of cross-dressing.
Jessica escapes Shylock’s house by dressing as a page, while Portia and Nerissa rescue Antonio by posing as officers of the Venetian court. THE MERCHANT OF VENICE AT THE ARGENTINA THEATRE The Merchant of Venice, famous Shakespearean play, in.
Shakespeare was very revolutionary for his time. Many of his lesser known plays, such as the Merchant of Venice and the Twelfth Night, cover controversial topics by today’s standards, such as stereotypes and cross-dressing.
In The Merchant of Venice, as in many other plays, feasting serves as a trope of social harmony. Shylock refuses to eat with Christians, but he does seek to cut a pound of Christian flesh "to feed," as he says, his "revenge" ().