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By Alisa Solomon

Re-Dressing the Canon examines the connection among gender and function in a chain of essays which mix the critique of particular stay performances with an astute theoretical research. Alisa Solomon discusses either canonical texts and modern productions in a full of life jargon-free sort. one of the dramatic texts thought of are these of Aristophanes, Ibsen, Yiddish theatre, Mabou Mines, Deborah Warner, Shakespeare, Brecht, break up Britches, Ridiculous Theatre, and Tony Kushner. Bringing to endure theories of 'gender performativity' upon theatrical occasions, the writer explores: * the 'double conceal' of cross-dressed boy-actresses * how gender pertains to style (particularly in Ibsens' realism) * how canonical theatre represented gender in methods which hold conventional photos of masculinity and femininity.

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And I am sure, as many as have good beards, or good faces, or sweet breaths, will for my kind offer, when I make curtsy, bid me farewell. (V, iv, 198–220) It’s the epilogue’s last six lines that have provoked the most critical scrutiny in recent years, and for good reason. Echoing the denouement in which Rosalind reveals herself as a woman, the performer now reveals himself as a boy. Echoing the play’s frequent sojourns on an If, once again a conditional statement—“If I were a woman”—allows us to follow through to a pleasing, playful conclusion.

11) Much of the controversy was played out over clothing. 12 Some critics point to the Galenic model of sexuality current at the time, which posed that there was one sex, the adult male, and that women (and, in another way, boys) were partially cooked or inverted versions of his biological completeness. This unisex biological model provided justifications for strict social divisions between men and women, though—or precisely because—that distinction seemed to be in an unsettling state of flux. ”14 After all, banished from the stage, women who wanted to act—and act up— SHAKESPEARE’S CROSSED-DRESSED BOY-ACTRESSES 29 had to make the streets their platform.

The exaggerated descriptions of Ganymede’s underlying femininity—“I could find in my heart to disgrace my man’s apparel and to cry like a woman. But I must comfort the weaker vessel, as doublet and hose ought to show itself courageous to petticoat” (II, iv, 3–6)—are a necessary means of identifying the character and sparking the play’s central irony. These lines and the vision we behold tell us: this is and is not Rosalind. Indeed, Ganymede’s swoon is critically distanced by Rosalind/Ganymede’s thrice uttered excuse: “this was well-counterfeited” (IV, iii, 167).

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