Scripting The Outsiders in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night & Much Ado About Nothing

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Jeyathurai, Dashini Ann J.
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Lethbridge Undergraduate Research Journal
Much of Twelfth Night and Much Ado About Nothing is steeped in observation. The structural device of the play-within-the-play facilitates both the audience's and the conspirators' observation of the outsiders. Thus, Malvolio, Benedick and Beatrice are constantly policed as they transgress social norms. When the dominant culture or the insiders can no longer stomach the outsiders' transgressions, their language, which is their chief weapon, is re-scripted. As their language is re-scripted by the dominant culture, they inadvertently adopt the outward appearance of an insider, or what they perceive in their mind's eye to be the outward appearance of an insider. It is in the act of re-scripting that one sees the linguistic violence taking place against the outsiders with the hunting imagery that pervades the insider's language. In taking on this new script, the outsiders become performers themselves, acting out a role that is unnatural to them.
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 -- Comedies , Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 -- Criticism and interpretation