Literature: Twelfth Night Feminist Quotes

Naturally defined gender:Sir Toby of Maria (A2S3) “She’s a beagle, true bred, and one that adores me. What o’that?”
Naturally defined gender:Orsino to Viola (A5S1) “Give me thy hand. And let me see thee in thy woman’s weeds.”
Naturally defined gender:Orsino to Viola (A5S1) “and for your service done him, so much against the mettle of your sex…”
Naturally defined gender:Sebastian (A5S1) “You have been mistook. But nature to her bias drew in that.”
Naturally defined gender:Orsino of Olivia (A2S4) “But ’tis that miracle and queen of genius the nature pranks her in attracts my soul.”
Women lose the freedoms which the period of misrule had allowed them:Olivia (A1S5) “Most sweet lady -“”A comfortable doctrine, and much may be said of it. Where lies your text?”
Women lose the freedoms which the period of misrule had allowed them:Olivia re. woman’s body (A1S5) “I will give out divers schedules of my beauty; it shall be inventoried, and every particle and utensil labelled…”
Transgressive challenges to essentialist notions:Sebastian of Viola (A2S1) “She bore a mind that envy could not but call fair”
Transgressive challenges to essentialist notions:Olivia of Cesario (A1S5) “Methinks I feel this youth’s perfections with an invisible and subtle stealth to creep in at mine eyes.”
Transgressive challenges to essentialist notions:Antonio to Sebastian (A3S3) “My desire more sharp than filled steel, did spur me forth.”
Masculine notions of perfection:Orsino (A2S4) “There is no woman’s sides can bide the beating of so strong a passion as love doth give my heart.”
Masculine notions of perfection:Orsino to Cesario (A1S4) “Thy small pipe is as the maiden’s organ, shrill and sound, and all is semblative a woman’s part.”
Valerie Traub, “The homoerotics of Shakespearean Comedy” “Despite its closure, then, Twelfth Night’s conclusion seems only ambiviantly invested in the hetrosexuality it imposes.”
Valerie Traub, “The homoerotics of Shakespearean Comedy” “Twelfth Night disrupts the cultural code that keeps both men and women in line, subverting the patriarchy from within.”
R.W. Maslen, “Twelfth Night, Gender and Comedy” “The trio of articulate women who dominate Twelfth Night transform the conventional Elizabethan ideal of a woman.”
Valerie Traub, “The homoerotics of Shakespearean Comedy” “the result (of the play) is a more rigid dedication to the ideology of binarism”
Gender as a performance (Viola, Act 1, scene 5) “I can say little more than I have studied, and that question’s out of my part.”
Masculine notions of perfection (Viola, Act 1, scene 2) “Oh that I serve that lady, and might not be delivered to the world”
Masculine notions of perfection (Sebastian) “A spirit I am indeed, but am in that dimension grossly clad which from the womb I did participate.”
Gender as a performance (Cesario) “Disguise, I see thou art a wickedness, wherein the pregnant enemy does much”
Gender as a performance (Viola, Act 1, scene 2) “Conceal me what I am, and be my aid for such disguise as haply shall become the form of my intent.”
Naturally defined gender (Orsino, Act 2, scene 4) “For women are as roses, whose fair flower, being once displayed, doth fall that very hour.”
Transgressive challenges to essentialist notions:Cesario re. Olivia (Act 2, scene 2) “She made good view of me; indeed, so much, that sure methought her eyes had lost her tongue,”
Transgressive challenges to essentialist notions: Cesario re. Orsino (Act 5, scene 1) “After him I love more than I love these eyes, more than my life, more by all mores, than e’er I shall love wife.”