The lecture will take into consideration the idea of “gender” in the Renaissance period, starting from the cultural context and focussing in particular on the theatre. Once produced, gender differences and hierarchies were not only secured by “a self-evident notion of biological sexual difference” (Greenblatt), but also enforced through social practices. Indeed, “the marks of gender difference were to be worn inwardly and made manifest through a properly gendered subjectivity” (Greenblatt). Within this context, the lecture will focus on a selection of Shakespearean characters who attempt to overcome the sex-gender constraints through different strategies in order to achieve self-realization. Particular attention will be devoted to contemporary readings of the works, the connection and interchange between life and theatre and the different choices for the mise en scene.
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