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outline for essays - 1 Disguises vs Pretending/Feigning...

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1. Disguises vs Pretending/Feigning Appearance vs Reality o Kent in King Lear o Edgar as Poor Tom in King Lear o Duke as Friar in Measure for Measure Overseer of all that is to happen See what’s going on See the truth Contrasts/Perceptions Sight vs Blindness o King Lear Cordelia = only truthful daughter to Lear; banished Kent = only truthful man; banished o Gloucester Edmund = bastard son Edgar = truthful son; disowned/need to find & kill o Males fail to see the female characters disguised as males and who they really are. Exception: Rosalind in As You Like It She swoons and Oliver questions whether she is a man or not? Roles of Women o Cross-dressing Boy actors played women characters Ideal Elizabethan woman Truths revealed Portia/Balthazar in Merchant of Venice o She saw how Bassanio really felt about their marriage. How quickly he was ready to give up the ring & how he was willing to give her away to save Antonio o “Her man’s disguise is not a psychological refuge but a vehicle for assuming power. Her actions…reveal that masculine prerogatives are based on custom, not nature, since a woman can indeed successfully assume masculine positions of authority.” Howard, Jean E. “Crossdressing, the Theatre, and Gender Struggle.” Nerissa in Merchant of Venice Jessica in Merchant of Venice o She dresses as a boy so that she can escape with Lorenzo without anyone finding out. Rosalind/Ganymede in As You Like It o Ganymede was very “harsh” with Orlando
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because she played the role of a man and she wanted to make sure they would still have their love outside of “Disney Land” Overall, women saw the “truth” and more realism of the situation when dressed as men.
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