Tutor profile: Kate G.
How are women presented in Shakespeare's Comedies?
The convention of women’s subjugation in Elizabethan literary relationships is undercut in both The Taming of the Shrew and Twelfth Night. Katherine and Olivia both defy gender expectation and demand volition over their own lives, constantly undercutting male sovereignty. Yet both plays are consolidated in a desperate social harmony: the sudden marriages in Twelfth Night, and Katherine’s submitting to her husband in The Taming of the Shrew. This allows the status quo of male dominance to be reinstated.
What are the ramifications of surveillance and monitoring for the human or non-human body?
In both Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four the body’s emotional and sexual responses are recoded due to the pressures of surveillance, which forces the individual to conform. Characters are monitored through their bodily responses, meaning their inner consciousness and drive must also be regulated. This surveillance ultimately oppresses female bodies more than their male counterparts due to the control exercised over women within these totalitarian patriarchal regimes. The gendered nature of the act of observation means surveillance can be inherently coded as male, enabling the female body to be subjugated as either a reproductive vessel or an entity for male pleasure in both surveillance societies. This creates a clear link between surveillance societies, political oppression, sexual oppression and therefore oppression of female bodies. The consequence of surveillance is the regulation of the body and its sexuality, and the estrangement of the body from the self which effects the female body more than the male.
What representation of love does Wilde portray through his use of language, form and structure in the opening chapters of The Picture of Dorian Gray?
In The Picture of Dorian Gray Wilde presents love as a destructive force with the power to consume its victims. The narrator describes Dorian's ‘wonder growing grave in his darkening eyes’ as he watches Lord Henry speak, establishing the metaphor of how Dorian's sight has been clouded over by lord Henry's influence. The description of Dorian's eyes ‘darkening’ sounds lustful: he wishes to emulate Henry's command of attention in the room. As this exchange takes place at an upper-class meal, this could be interpreted as Dorian's desire to advance himself socially. Furthermore by darkening’ Dorian's eyes, not only is Dorian's vision clouded, but an onlooker would be unable to see into his soul. This highlights how Dorian has already begun to hide his soul, foreshadowing how Dorian later realises that the portrait (i.e. the true representation of his soul,) ‘must be hidden away at all costs,’ and too thrusted into darkness.
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