Gender and Identiy

Exploration of a Teenage Black Male


I believe that I am a semi-hardworking high school student, and an only child, I try to be different from other people. I believe that society does however look down upon the fact that my mom was a single teenage parent and believe that I won't make anything of myself. I usually dress with baggy pants, and how i think that an adult that doesn't know me would wrongfully judge me, almost as a statement, to not judge people by first appearance. I speak appropriately differently between different people, for example slang with a group of my friends, or casually with an adult that i'm trying to impress for some reason. I feel as though my entire personality is based off of proving people wrong who wrongfully judges me.

In twelfth night the character Viola sees herself as just trying to get by with the horrible conditions that she is left with after her ship wreck. She is determined not to give up under these conditions even though it would seem that most people that may happen to go through a situation in which they are abruptly switched from higher class to lower class do not know how to get by especially on foreign land. She displays this determination by doing any means necessary even when that meant dressing up like a man and creating a false identity. She just wants to get on her feet with no problems while playing this persona to the best of her abilities. "And though that nature with a beauteous wall Doth oft close in pollution, yet of thee I will believe thou hast a mind that suits With this thy fair and outward character. I prithee—and I’ll pay thee bounteously—Conceal me what I am, and be my aid For such disguise as haply shall becomeThe form of my intent. I’ll serve this duke." (I.ii.45-52). This quote is being spoken by Viola to the Captain in which she asks if need be to get work in this new land, can the Captain disguise her as a man so that she can work under Duke Orsino.


I believe that I am rightfully judged on my gender on the bases that I should know most "manly" things but really have no clue because i never had a dad to grow up with to teach me a lot of things of that nature. The "manly" things I do know are because of a cousin or the internet and I don't leave an example because I am embarrassed of them. I am also rightfully positively judged of my gender because I believe that people respect me as another guy who doesn't have any problems carrying myself as such for example being able to stick up for myself and being able to do things on my own without help in which I am completely fine with because I like to think that that just makes me a stronger and non-dependent person.

In twelfth night the character Viola is forced to act like a man because of her disguise needed for her to work under Duke Orsino. This creates conflict because since she is still a woman, she falls in love with Duke Orsino but can not confess her love because if she did, then it would blow her cover of being Cesario. This creates more conflict when Olivia who Orsino loves, falls in love with Viola false identity Cesario. She is forced to continuously put on this charade and constantly be on her toes to not slip up so that no one figures out that she is really a woman. She can't act as her gender but because of this persona she gets a job under Duke Orsino which is worth all the trouble in this new land.


I believe that my friends see me as a strong cool person, strangers see me as either another guy or weak, and that most adult see the way I walk, talk, and dress and see me as someone who will not grow to be successful in which I actually have proof of. I feel as though adults who are strangers automatically have low expectations when it comes to me in which I love to rise above, whether that be school work, a certain talent, or sports.

I believe that other characters in twelfth night see Cesario as just another servant that works under Duke Orsino. This is what Viola wants the other characters to believe because this is her new persona. She sees herself as a woman just trying to get back on her feet in this new land but it seems as though the other have no clue about her actual identity. "What means this lady? Fortune forbid my outside have not charmed her!" (II.ii.15-16). In this scene of twelfth night, Viola is thinking of Olivia because it seems as though Olivia has fallen in love with Viola's false identity Cesario. Olivia sees Cesario as this new charming guy when in all reality it is just Viola playing a role that she can't seem to get rid of.

Similarities and Differences

What me and Viola both have in common are the fact that we both are determined to not quit and just do what we need to do to get done what we need done. That is even if that means hopping out of our comfort zone to do so.

What's different between me and Viola is the fact that she is put in a situation in which she has to live a completely different lifestyle then from previous years, from a high class lady, to a low class servant. She can handle this and does very well, I would not be able to continue through this situation as well as she does and would probably not last very long.