What was it with Shakespeare? Viola loves Orsino dressed as Cesario, disguised as a boy shepherd Rosalind woos Orlando under guise of ‘curing him of his love for Rosalind and Bassanio parts with the ring with which he promised his beloved never to part with his beloved disguised as the law clerk with which he engenders his faithlessness; If you think gender fluidity and confusion began in 2019 then reconsider.
At 2pm on Tuesday 23rd April, The Bath Shakespeare Society will be holding its annual celebratory lecture to mark the bard’s birthday with a talk entitled ‘Shakespeare’s Women and the Need for Disguise’ and they will prove in joyful fashion how cross-dressing and gender transgression was a hot topic long before the invention of binary toilet cubicles and non-gender specific changing rooms.
In her talk, Shakespearian academic Alison Smeardon considers what gender transgression allowed some of literatures greatest heroines and will raise unexpectedly contemporary questions about what this contravention of the normal codes of human behaviour might tell us about the nature of our relationships today.
The lecture as always will be followed by the cutting of the cake and a toast to mark Shakespeare’sbirth. What on St George’s day could be more English than that! And the celebrations don’t startthere; at 11am the Society will begin by unveiling a plaque in Victoria Park to mark the 455thanniversary of Shakespeare’s birth. A monument was originally placed in the park to markShakespeare’s 300th Birthday in 1864 but the lettering has faded to such an extent that with the aid of the World Heritage people and Banes Council, the Bath Shakespeare Society have at last made sure Bathonians get chance to pay homage to the greatest of English writers.
Tickets are on sale for the general public at £2.00 for BRLSI members and students, and £5.00 for non-members. This talk will take place at 2pm. Tickets sold on the door.
Note for Editors: Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution (BRLSI) is an educational charity based in the centre of Bath. The Institution runs a programme of more than 150 public lectures each year of topics including science, philosophy, art and literature. It also maintains collections of minerals, fossils and other items, as well as a library of rare books. The BRLSI’s Jenyns Room is one of Bath’s leading gallery spaces with a year-round programme of art and museum exhibitions.