Twelfth Night Essay Guidelines – Revised 11/17/17
Prompt for Essay on Twelfth Night film.
To write this paper, you will need to view the Globe production of
Twelfth Night via the following link on the library’s website:
Write a 3-5 page essay that answers all of the following questions:
How do issues of gender identity and alternative sexualities register
differently in your reading of Twelfth Night than in your viewing of the
Globe production described by James Bulman in “Bearding the Queen:
Male Cross-Dressing at the New Globe”(Shakespearean Performance:
New Studies. Ed. Frank Occhiogrosso. Madison and Teaneck: Farleigh
Dickinson University Press, 2008: 74-91 – posted on TRACS as “Bulman
article”)? According to Bulman, how does this all-male production differ
from a “traditional” version, in which men play men and women play
women? Why do you agree or disagree with Bulman’s thesis? If you
were producing a version of this play, how would you cast it with
regards to gender (traditional, all-male, all-female, cross-gender, some
mixture of the above)? What factors would impact this decision?
This essay will be graded pass/fail. You have only one chance to
submit your paper. Neither the Professor nor the IAs will preview
your paper before you submit it. You will NOT be able to revise the
paper if you fail. If you fail, you lose a full-letter grade for the
semester. To pass you must observe the following rules:
Papers are due at the beginning of class on March 26 (no papers
accepted after 2:01/3:31). No late or Emailed essays will be accepted
without documentation of hospitalization or incarceration. A large
cardboard box will be placed near the entrance of the classroom in
which you can put your papers as you enter class.
Your paper must be stapled before you arrive in the classroom. DO
NOT SWARM OVER THE STAGE LOOKING FOR A STAPLER!!! DO NOT
ASK THE PROFESSOR, IAs, OR OTHER STAFF TO PROVIDE A
STAPLER!!!!! DO NOT ASK IF IT IS ALRIGHT IF YOUR PAPER IS NOT
You must answer ALL of the questions in the above prompt,
incorporating these answers into well-structured paragraphs.
The title Twelfth Night (whether describing the play or the film) must
be italicized (not underlined or put in quotation marks) each time you
use it within the body of your essay. With each such usage you must
make it clear whether you are referring to the printed play or the Globe
You must quote directly from the play and the Bulman article in your
essay, following the quotation guidelines below (these are also posted
in the syllabus).
You must quote directly from the play in your essay. For quotations
shorter than four verse lines, use diagonal slashes to indicate breaks
In his first address to Hamlet, Claudius says, “Tis sweet and
commendable in your nature, Hamlet/To give these mourning duties to
your father” (1.2.87-88).
When you quote prose from a play, no slashes are necessary. You can
recognize prose by the fact that, in prose, every sentence begins with a
capital letter, but not every line on the page. Even when quoting prose,
you should provide act, scene, and line numbers:
In a moment of introspection Falstaff observes, “I never prospered
since I forswore myself at primero. Well, if my wind were but long
enough to say my prayers, I would repent” (4.5.95-97).
For quotations of four lines or longer, use the block quotation format.
The lines should be arranged as they appear in the text if you are
quoting verse and arranged as a paragraph if you are quoting prose.
In his first address to Hamlet, Claudius says:
Tis sweet and commendable in your nature, Hamlet
To give these mourning duties to your father,
But you must know your father lost a father,
That father lost, lost his, and the survivor bound
In filial obligation for some term
To do obsequious sorrow. (1.2.87-92)
In a moment of introspection Falstaff observes:
If it should come to the ear of the court how I have been
transformed, and how my transformation hath been washed and
cudgeled, why would melt me out of my fat drop by drop and
liquor fishermen’s boots with me. I warrant they would whip me
with their fine wits till I were as crestfallen as a dried pear. I never
prospered since I forswore myself at primero. Well, if my wind
were but long enough to say my prayers, I would repent. (4.5.8995)
In either case you must indicate act, scene, and line numbers in your
parenthetical citation, as per the examples above. Do not use more
than one block quotation in your essay.
You must also quote from the James Bulman essay in your paper. All
quotations and paraphrases should include a parenthetical citation that
lists the page number and, if necessary, the author’s name. There is no
need to provide a Works Cited page unless you employ sources other
As James C. Bulman notes, “By 1999, the idea that gender is
performative rather than innate had circulated widely” (75).
The Globe production exploited a growing sense in contemporary
culture “that gender is performative rather than innate” (Bulman 75).
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