Discuss the effects of cross-dressing on the depiction of gender identity in Early Modern drama

Module: Early Modern Comedy (Level 4)


  • Lewis Ashbridge


Shakespeare, early modern comedy, cross-dressing, drama


This essay examines the role cross-dressing performs in subverting conventional gender identities within William Shakespeare’s play As You Like It. 

Author Biography

Lewis Ashbridge

Lewis Ashbridge finds that Shakespearean drama holds an undefinable mystique in its brilliant wordplay and memorable characters. From Iago’s Machiavellian conniving, to the tragic naivety of Timon of Athens, the themes and motifs run the gamut. What interested him most about these two texts was their use of cross-dressing as a major motif, which ultimately inspired his final assignment topic. As a now third year student looking back in retrospect, Lewis remembers Early Modern Comedy as a favourite module.