Carnival and Lent Essay

916 WordsMay 3, 20134 Pages
Carnival and Lent Carnival and lent as depicted in Shakespearian plays represents a role reversal as well as a contrast between gender and social class, and represents new roles one must act in order to achieve what they want. In As You Like It, a Shakespearian comedy, there are two different settings, the forest of Ardenne and the city, representing a stark contrast of living, as with carnival and lent. Also, two high class women reverse their roles from high class royalty to lower working class. One of these women, Rosalind, dresses and identifies as a male, Ganymede, for a better part of the play. The contrast between carnival and lent, is shown in both the setting, and in Rosalind. The play is set in 16th century France, a time with law, order, strict gender roles, stable and fixed identities as well as obedience to established authority. The city represents lent, or normality of social and gender behaviors. The duke is the dominant authority figure in the play, and men and women have their own roles to play: men being the dominant rulers of the social order and women, who are the more submissive and obedient, their marriages are arranged and they are taught how to think and speak. The forest of Ardenne represents, carnival, a stark contrast against the normality and order of the city. Gender can be bent, orders don’t have to be taken, and one’s identity can be reconstructed. Rosalind is a very powerful woman figure in the play, is outspoken and witty; not something women would have been at the time. Even before Rosalind enters the forest, she defies traditional gender roles. In the beginning of the play Rosalind is speaking to Touchstone about the rib-breaking wrestling match soon to take place, Touchstone is trying to tell Rosalind that it is not a sport women should partake in, and she replys, “But is there any else longs to see this broken music in his

More about Carnival and Lent Essay

Open Document