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Shakespeare's Twelfth Night; Or, What You Will, with Introduction, Notes, and Plan of Preparation. (Selected.)

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This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most impor This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work. This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work. As a reproduction of a historical artifact, this work may contain missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. We appreciate your support of the preservation process, and thank you for being an important part of keeping this knowledge alive and relevant.

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This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most impor This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work. This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work. As a reproduction of a historical artifact, this work may contain missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. We appreciate your support of the preservation process, and thank you for being an important part of keeping this knowledge alive and relevant.

30 review for Shakespeare's Twelfth Night; Or, What You Will, with Introduction, Notes, and Plan of Preparation. (Selected.)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Madeline

    I wish I could've seen what performances of this play were like in Shakespeare's time. Since women couldn't be on stage, men had to play the women's roles, which means that the guy playing Viola had to also dress up as a man while acting like a woman. You have to wonder if the audience ever really knew what was going on. I'll bet you anything you like that some form of the following conversation took place in the Globe Theater at one point: GROUNDLING 1: Wait, wasn't that guy playing a girl? Why' I wish I could've seen what performances of this play were like in Shakespeare's time. Since women couldn't be on stage, men had to play the women's roles, which means that the guy playing Viola had to also dress up as a man while acting like a woman. You have to wonder if the audience ever really knew what was going on. I'll bet you anything you like that some form of the following conversation took place in the Globe Theater at one point: GROUNDLING 1: Wait, wasn't that guy playing a girl? Why's he a guy again? GROUNDLING 2: No, Viola's dressing up as a man. GROUNDLING 1: So...he's a guy, playing a girl, playing a guy? GROUNDLING 2: Yes. I think. GROUNDLING 1: ...want me to get another round of ale? GROUNDLING 2: God yes. Oh, and also TWELFTH NIGHT, ABRIDGED: VIOLA: Okay, where the fuck are we? CAPTAIN: We're in Illyria - there's a duke who lives here who's totally in love with this chick Olivia, but she's all sad because her brother died like a year ago but Orsino won't leave it alone. ORSINO: *sits in his room listening to "Love Hurts" on repeat and writing Olivia/Orsino fanfiction* VIOLA: Well then, I guess the only thing for me to do is disguise myself as a boy and go work for Orsino! Ha ha, wouldn't it be a funny and awkward twist if I fell in love with Orsino? CAPTAIN: Yeah...that'd be real unexpected. OLIVIA: CESARIO, TELL YOUR STUPID MASTER THAT FOR THE HUNDREDTH TIME, I DON'T WANT TO GET MARRIED RIGHT NOW BECAUSES I AM KIND OF IN MOURNING FOR THE ONLY FAMILY MEMBER I HAD. IT'S NOT A GOOD TIME. CESARIO/VIOLA: Look, I know you're sad and everything - hey, my twin brother just died in a shipwreck too - but Orsino like, really really loves you. 'Cause you're hot, and stuff. OLIVIA: Oh stop, you're hot. Kiss me! CESARIO/VIOLA: Oh, HELL no. SHAKESPEARE: Hee hee! Lesbians. ORSINO: Why won't Olivia love me? My life is so unfair. Are you in love with anyone, Cesario? Because it sucks. CESARIO/VIOLA: Yes, I love somebody. Somebody your complexion, and your height...but she's totally a chick, because I am obviously a boy. ORSINO: Love sucks, and women are unfaithful whores. CESARIO/VIOLA: Um...wow, you're actually sort of a douche. Why exactly am I attracted to you? ORSINO: I assumed it was the brooding. Chicks dig guys who brood. TOBY BELCH: Hey everybody, it's Comic Relief Time! Malvolio, Olivia has a crush on you and wants you to wear these poncy yellow stockings and smile all the time. MALVOLIO: Well, they do make my legs look fabulous. EVERYONE: HE'S CRAZY! LOCK HIM IN THE CRAZYHOUSE! IT'S FUNNY BECAUSE ADEQUATE MENTAL HEALTH CARE WON'T EXIST FOR ANOTHER 400 YEARS! SEBASTIAN: Thank god I survived that horrible shipwreck! Too bad my sister's dead, though. OLIVIA: Cesario! I demand that we have sex immediately! SEBASTIAN: YES MA'AM! ORSINO: Cesario, what the hell are you doing? SEBASTIAN: Who? CESARIO/VIOLA: OMG SEBASTIAN! SEBASTIAN: OMG VIOLA! EVERYONE: WTF? VIOLA: I'm a girl, surprise! ORSINO: I love liars! Let's get married! MALVOLIO: HEY! You assholes got me locked in a cell and then sent some clown to mock me! I swear by all that is holy, I WILL BE REVENGED ON YOU ALL! VIOLA: Wait...is that seriously how the play ends? A guy we had wrongly incarcerated promises to get his revenge, which he actually kind of deserves? FASTE: How about this? - I'll play a song, and then maybe the audience will forget that this play actually has the creepiest ending ever? *he does, and we do. THE END.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Twins: Freaky or Fun? Twelfth Night is Shakespeare's answer to that age-old question. While I was listening to this, I had no idea that Viola & Sebastian were twins. As far as I knew, they were just siblings. But, apparently, they were (<--if I had read the blurb, I would have known this). And, apparently, it was also easy to pass as a man 400 years ago! I guess if Gwen could do it (and still find time to write her ever-practical GOOP blog), then I could too! This is useful to know, in case I Twins: Freaky or Fun? Twelfth Night is Shakespeare's answer to that age-old question. While I was listening to this, I had no idea that Viola & Sebastian were twins. As far as I knew, they were just siblings. But, apparently, they were (<--if I had read the blurb, I would have known this). And, apparently, it was also easy to pass as a man 400 years ago! I guess if Gwen could do it (and still find time to write her ever-practical GOOP blog), then I could too! This is useful to know, in case I ever get that time machine in the basement working, and then decide to travel back to the 1600's to trick another woman into falling in love with me. Otherwise, not quite as useful. Anyway. So what was this one about? Warning: Spoilers But, realistically, I probably didn't understand what actually happened in the play anyway, so everything in this review is more than likely wrong. Warning: Incorrect Spoilers Ok, Viola & Sebastian went on a Carnival Cruise Vacation. It ended badly. As they typically do... Viola washes up on the shore of Illyria, thinking that her dear brother is lost at sea, and decides she needs to find a man! She makes a deal with a Sea Witch (view spoiler)[ disguised to look like the captain of the vessel that rescued her! (hide spoiler)] , who turns her into a man, so she can infiltrate Prince Eric's Duke Orsino's household. She has 3 days to snag a kiss, or the spell will be broken! If that happens, the Sea Witch will plant her soul with all the rest of the poor bastards who made shitty impulsive deals! Kids, it's never a good idea to strike a bargain with someone who has the word WITCH prominently displayed in their name. Just sayin'. Right from the start, there are complications with Viola's plan. First off, the Duke is in love with someone else. HUGE problem. HUGE. Secondly, he wants her (now known as Cesario) to woo his lady-love for him. Yeah! Can you believe that shit? Hey, Olivia. Um, Orsino wants to know if you like him, or if you like him-like him? Unfortunately, girls don't like it when you send a representative. Grab your nuts and ask her out, idiot! But in Orsino's defense, Olivia had rebuffed his previous advances. A lot. Now, Olivia is very intelligent, because she knows Orsino can't possibly really love her, due to the fact that he doesn't know her very well. And at the same time, she's incredibly unintelligent, because she not only falls in love with Cesario after 5 minutes, but also fails to notice that the Dude Looks Like A Lady, and throws herself most unwelcomely at poor Viola. Meanwhile, there is a whole 'nother story happening with Olivia's Uncle Toby & his drinking buddy, Andrew (<--who also likes Olivia!). These two get together with Olivia's maid (and maybe someone else?), and decide to play a trick on a self-righteous guy named Malvolio, for calling them out on being obnoxious drunks. At least it was a harmless and tasteful prank. They just made Olivia (<--Malvalio also likes her!) think he might possibly be demon possessed, and then threw him in a dark room and tormented him for days. Back to the love triangle! Cuz here's where things get weird. Remember how Viola's brother died? Surprise, he's alive! And in Illyria! And with the captain who saved him! Naturally, he thinks his sister drowned <--because it's hard to swim in a dress! So sad. But while he's out mourning, he runs into...wait for it...OLIVIA! And because her love runs so deep, she immediately mistakes him for his sister-in-drag, and corners him to profess her undying love. She must be one hot piece of ass, because a few stolen moments with her, and Sebastian is head over heels in love. Then she proposes to him. Whoo-hoo! Feminism! Hundreds of years later, and we're almost there, ladies! Olivia (savvy lady that she is) seems to have kept a priest on standby just for this sort of occasion, because 15 minutes later, those two are saying their vows. Don't worry, I'm sure they are going to be very happy. Let's check in on Malvolio, shall we? Well, he seems fine! {insert more shenanigans here} Duke Orsino finds out that Olivia is in love with Cesario, and starts hauling him away to be killed. Viola/Cesario accepts her fate, because she loves Orsino so much that she would rather DIE than cause him pain. If it were me, I'd vote for pain. Sorry, Orsino. Olivia, desperate to save her man, calls in the priest to attest that they are married. Which just confuses the hell out of Viola. But not for long! Because good old Uncle Toby comes running in with a story about getting his ass kicked by Cesario, followed quickly by the Imitation Cesario (aka Sebastian). At which point, everyone realizes that there are TWO Cesarios in the house. Damn! Shit just got real! It only takes several minutes of ridiculous questions for each of the (painfully stupid) Wonder Twins to realize that their sibling isn't dead. Your father had a mole? *gasp* My father had a mole! I know what you're thinking... How does Viola keep from becoming fertilizer in the Sea Witch's garden of shriveled souls? Good question, random person! It turns out, once Orsino realizes that A) Olivia is off the market, and B) Cesario is a girl, he immediately transfers his undying love to her. Boom! Done! Happy Endings for everyone! Including Olivia's maid (and Punk'd accomplice), Maria, who gets married to the drunken prize, Toby. Oh, and don't worry about Malvolio. They eventually let him out. I mean, yeah, he's pretty much scarred for life, and wanders away swearing to have his revenge, but I'm sure he'll get over it. It's a little known fact that Twelfth Night wasn't Shakespeare's first choice for the name of this play. Originally, it was going to be called, How Stupid Can You Be? <--Read it on the internet. Must be true. Ok, maybe not. Regardless, this was a fun story, and I quite enjoyed it. I listened to this one on a Playaway device, and I got to hear a full cast of characters, sound effects, and music. Definitely the way to go!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dolors

    “Twelfth night” is probably the most well rounded of all the Shakespearean comedies I have read so far, both for its structure and thematic scope, which is close to the darkest side of his best tragedies. Evading the somewhat shallow hedonism of his earlier comedies, the perplexed reader encounters a play that is opened with a shipwreck on the coast of the fictional town of Illyria. The twins Viola and Sebastian were onboard of the crashed vessel but they lose sight of each other amidst the chao “Twelfth night” is probably the most well rounded of all the Shakespearean comedies I have read so far, both for its structure and thematic scope, which is close to the darkest side of his best tragedies. Evading the somewhat shallow hedonism of his earlier comedies, the perplexed reader encounters a play that is opened with a shipwreck on the coast of the fictional town of Illyria. The twins Viola and Sebastian were onboard of the crashed vessel but they lose sight of each other amidst the chaos and they both assume the other is dead. A chain of improbable events lead to several impersonations and mistaken identities that involve gender and class transformation, setting Viola as a male servant in the court of the Duke of Orsino who is vainly fixated on the damsel Olivia, whose grief for her lost brother prevents her from reciprocating the Duke’s passion. Against all predictions, Viola becomes the Duke’s confidant and slowly conquers not only his heart but also Olivia’s, giving way to a jocular situation that is impossible to argue with logic as seen in Orsino’s frustrated lament: “One face, one voice, one habit, and two persons! A natural perspective, that is, and is not!” Act V, scene 2. The action of this play is somewhat fragmented and the characters seem to act merely on impulse; that trait alone presents quite a contrast to the deliberation displayed by the most iconic protagonists of the Bard’s oeuvre. The main attraction of this comedy shouldn’t be expected in the parallel plots or in the tangled web of misplaced identities that defy gender bias and preconceived ideas about sexual orientation, heartbreak, grief or mockery; instead, it is to be found in the musicality of the language that shines more brightly in Orsino’s interventions and the Fool’s sagacious interludes. The riotous undertone of this wild play appeals to the contradictions that we all carry inside us, which keep us awake at night, tossing and turning, wondering what it is that we expect from life, of the yearning to love and be loved, but mainly of the hidden desires that we do not dare to bring to the surface, which Shakespeare did never avoid. He challenges us to be courageous and face them, and make of our next step “what we will”.

  4. 4 out of 5

    James

    Book Review 4 out of 5 stars to Twelfth Night, a comedy written in 1601 by William Shakespeare. There are more reviews written about Shakespeare than either of us know what to do with, on, over or about. So you're not getting a review from me. What I will say is the following: Love him or not, the man can create brilliant plots and characters. Twins. Mistaken identities. Tomfoolery. Witchcraft. A chain of "who's on first" when it comes to which character is in love with which other character. Book Review 4 out of 5 stars to Twelfth Night, a comedy written in 1601 by William Shakespeare. There are more reviews written about Shakespeare than either of us know what to do with, on, over or about. So you're not getting a review from me. What I will say is the following: Love him or not, the man can create brilliant plots and characters. Twins. Mistaken identities. Tomfoolery. Witchcraft. A chain of "who's on first" when it comes to which character is in love with which other character. Confusion knows no bounds here. But I love it. It's hilarious. If you're not used to Shakespeare's style and rhythm, this wouldn't be the first play of his I'd recommend. Or if you really want to read this one, you might want to watch a film version first, just to get the plot down -- as it's more convoluted than any soap opera out there. And I should know, I've watched nearly all of them. It's got a little bit of everything, but if you can see it happen first, then read it... it'll come across even better as you can concentrate on the words and images that come to mind, rather than trying to comprehend which person is in which disguise when they are talking. I have to imagine he talked to himself a lot when writing this one, adding voices and different character attributes to even be sure he understood what he had going on! About Me For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Bill Kerwin

    The treatment of Malvolio is a little too cruel, Belch and Aguecheek are a little too coarse, and the resolution is a little too abrupt, and so this excellent Shakespearean comedy falls a little short of perfection. Still, the poetry about music and the songs themselves are wonderful, Viola and Orsino are charming, and Feste is the wisest and best of clowns.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    Twelfth Night; or, What You Will, William Shakespeare Twelfth Night, or What You Will is a comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written around 1601–02 as a Twelfth Night's entertainment for the close of the Christmas season. The play centres on the twins Viola and Sebastian, who are separated in a shipwreck. Viola (who is disguised as Cesario) falls in love with Duke Orsino, who in turn is in love with the Countess Olivia. Upon meeting Viola, Countess Olivia falls in love with her Twelfth Night; or, What You Will, William Shakespeare Twelfth Night, or What You Will is a comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written around 1601–02 as a Twelfth Night's entertainment for the close of the Christmas season. The play centres on the twins Viola and Sebastian, who are separated in a shipwreck. Viola (who is disguised as Cesario) falls in love with Duke Orsino, who in turn is in love with the Countess Olivia. Upon meeting Viola, Countess Olivia falls in love with her thinking she is a man. The play expanded on the musical interludes and riotous disorder expected of the occasion, with plot elements drawn from the short story "Of Apollonius and Silla" by Barnabe Rich, based on a story by Matteo Bandello. The first recorded performance was on 2 February 1602, at Candlemas, the formal end of Christmastide in the year's calendar. The play was not published until its inclusion in the 1623 First Folio. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: دوازدهم ماه ژانویه سال 1989 میلادی عنوان: شب دوازدهم یا آنچه شما بخواهید؛ اثر: ویلیام شکسپیر؛ مترجم: افضل وثوقی؛ تهران، رادیو تلویزیون ملی ایران، 1354، در 110 ص عنوان: شب دوازدهم نمایشنامه؛ اثر: ویلیام شکسپیر؛ مترجم: حمید الیاسی؛ تهران، روشنگران، 1368، در 197 ص؛ چاپ دیگر: 1390، در 238 ص، شابک: 9789646751521؛ موضوع: نمایشنامه های نویسندگان انگلیسی سده 17 م این نمایش در پنج پرده تدوین شده و دارای چهارده شخصیت و تعدادی سیاهی لشکر است. شخصیت‌های اصلی نمایش عبارتند از: اورسینو: دوک احساساتی ایلیریا، انسانی نیک. اولیویا: کنتسی ثروتمند، همسایه اورسینو، در نهایت زیبایی. ویولا: قاصد اورسینو؛ مخفی در لباس پسران و با نام واقعی سزاریو. (هرگز عشق را به زبان نمی‌آورد…)؛ سباستین: برادر دوقلوی ویولا.؛ سر توبی بلچ: دایی اولیویا که در خانه او لنگر انداخته.؛ ماریا: ندیمه اولیویا، یک سوسک کوچولو ولی زنده دل.؛ سر آندرو اگوچیک: شوالیه‌ای احمق.؛ فست: دلقک اجازه سر خود اولیویا.؛ مال ولیو؛ فابیان؛ آنتونیو؛ یک کاپیتان؛ والنتین؛ کوریو؛ لردها، یک کشیش، افسران، ملاحان، نوازندگان و خدمتکاران. شخصیت صوفی در این نمایش‌نامه به شاه عباس صفوی اشاره دارد. محل وقوع حوادث نمایشنامه: شهری در ایلیریا (کشوری باستانی در ساحل دریای آدریاتیک) و اسکله مجاور آن. چکیده نمایشنامه: اورسینیو دوک محبوب ایلیریا، از فرط سیری و پول و جاه با بازی کردن نقش افتادن در دام عشق؛ دل بیمار و روح احساساتی خود را تا سرحد حالت جذبه و نشوه برانگیخته‌ است. معشوقه ی او البته کسی جز کنتس اولیویای زیبای شهر نیست، که قصری در همسایگی کاخ دوک دارد. اورسینو به منظور ابراز عشق و شروع خواستگاری پیام و هدیه‌ ای توسط قاصد جدید خود، سزاریوی جوان، برای کنتس می‌فرستد. اما نمی‌داند سزاریو که به تازگی به خدمت او درآمده در واقع دختری در لباس پسران است با نام واقعی: ویولا. او از روزهای اول دیدن دوک، عاشق دوک شده و اکنون بیش از همیشه غمزده‌ است. در سوی دیگر: کنتس اولیویا نیز در قصر خود، مانند دوک احساساتی برانگیخته دارد، ولی آکنده از اندوه و تاسف است. کنتس زیبا به تازگی تنها برادر عزیزش را از دست داده، و از پذیرفتن و ابراز عشق و حتی همدمی هر مردی خودداری می‌کند. اما این همه باعث نمی‌شود که در نخستین دیدار با قاصد دوک (ویولا در لباس مبدل) به دریای عشق پرتلاطم او نیفتد… ا. شربیانی

  7. 4 out of 5

    Henry Avila

    Now a strange, astonishing thing or two , happened, off the west coast of the Balkans, ( Illyria), in an undetermined age, aristocratic, identical twins, a boy and a girl, well around twenty, give or take a few years, were lost at sea, shipwrecked by a powerful storm. Presumed drowned by the other surviving sibling, both saw their relative in an untenable situation. But this being a play, the twins keep on breathing, reaching the beautiful, dry, glorious beach, with separate help from out of the Now a strange, astonishing thing or two , happened, off the west coast of the Balkans, ( Illyria), in an undetermined age, aristocratic, identical twins, a boy and a girl, well around twenty, give or take a few years, were lost at sea, shipwrecked by a powerful storm. Presumed drowned by the other surviving sibling, both saw their relative in an untenable situation. But this being a play, the twins keep on breathing, reaching the beautiful, dry, glorious beach, with separate help from out of the blue, the ship's kind sea captain, and an infamous pirate , miracles do occur, sometimes. Nevertheless, unknown to the grieving duo ... For some reason, they changed their names, on land, Sebastian becomes , Roderigo, and his sister Viola, much more drastically, a man, Cesario, wearing men's clothes, a pretty boy she is too, (a rose by any other name would smell as sweet). She/He, starts working for the local Duke, Orsino, who loves another person of noble blood , Countess Olivia. But the lady is grieving for a recently deceased, beloved brother, and is in no mood for romance, besides the Duke doesn't appeal to her sad soul. Olivia needs a year to mourn, the lady tells the passionate, impatient Duke. And Olivia has a secret crush on his messenger, Cesario, ( Orsino is a very jealous, fierce man, who likes to duel), he also, after just a few days becomes very fond of his new, sweet servant. Now the distraught Countess, in her mansion, has her drunken uncle living with her, a big headache, Sir Toby, imbibing all night long, coming home in a boisterous condition, out of control, waking up the whole household, with his cowardly young friend, Sir Andrew. What can Olivia do, he's a relative. And Sir Andrew wants to marry the countess too, and has given money to her impecunious uncle. Another member of her entourage is her late father's jester, The Fool, also called Feste, acting silly is his job and does it very well, but The Fool is the smartest one around. Witty comments are his specialty ... Still the head of her servants, stern Malvolio, hated by the rest, rules with an iron hand, except Sir Toby, the noble family is above him. But the lackeys are restless and want revenge. More trouble for Lady Olivia, she falls in desperate love with the disguised Viola, as Cesario, who becomes very uneasy. And when Sebastian finally arrives in town, people speak to the visitor, as if they recognize him ! The twin feels quite confused, agitated, is he or these strangers mad ? Even Sir Andrew and Sir Toby, take their swords out to fight the supposedly timid "Cesario" , who is not his sister, and knows how to duel. A surprise ensues, for the not too brave pair. Another splendid, fun play , from the incomparable master William Shakespeare... enough said or written.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lyn

    Reading Shakespeare is almost like going down into the basement of literature and examining the foundations. So often I find the origins of what has become trite and overdone, and yet Shakespeare was the fountain from which so much springs. This is especially true of Twelfth Night, it is apparent that so many comedies and romances over the centuries were heavily influenced by this play. Very entertaining.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kai

    “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.” This was fun. The thing is that comedies are always more fun on a stage. Ultimately, so are tragedies. Shakespeare created a hilarious story of love, confusion and foolishness. There is a lot of genderbending and cross-dressing and homosexualitating (yes, I know that is not a word). Quite a queer tale. And in the end, everything and everybody is set straight and does not marry below their own station. A bit “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.” This was fun. The thing is that comedies are always more fun on a stage. Ultimately, so are tragedies. Shakespeare created a hilarious story of love, confusion and foolishness. There is a lot of genderbending and cross-dressing and homosexualitating (yes, I know that is not a word). Quite a queer tale. And in the end, everything and everybody is set straight and does not marry below their own station. A bit of a let-down if you ask me. Especially because this is not exactly how I imagine true love to be, but oh my, sometimes we can lean back and simply enjoy ourselves. I must admit that I liked A Midsummer Night's Dream better. However, I'm biased since I was part of a production of this play. I also like Richard II better, because I knew more about its cultural context and enjoyed the relationship between Shakespeare's Richard and the actual living and breathing and long dead king. Find more of my books on Instagram

  10. 4 out of 5

    Joe Valdez

    December 31, 2017 review My return to the world of William Shakespeare and my favorite play--though I find Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing to be superior dramatically, neither are as romantic or riotously funny as this--brought me back to my first reread on Goodreads and Twelfth Night. Work on my novel ground to a halt several weeks ago at the halfway mark and I wanted to return to a couple of texts that remind me of why I'm a writer. I also noticed that as of December 30, I was one book short December 31, 2017 review My return to the world of William Shakespeare and my favorite play--though I find Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing to be superior dramatically, neither are as romantic or riotously funny as this--brought me back to my first reread on Goodreads and Twelfth Night. Work on my novel ground to a halt several weeks ago at the halfway mark and I wanted to return to a couple of texts that remind me of why I'm a writer. I also noticed that as of December 30, I was one book short of my 2017 reading challenge, so hopefully, this report ties up a few loose ends. My system for reviewing plays is to watch a production first, read the play second. I was in for a treat with Twelfth Night, locating a bootleg of the 1998 production by Lincoln Center Theater directed by Nicholas Hytner and starring film and television veterans Helen Hunt (Viola), Paul Rudd (Duke Orsino), Philip Bosco (Malvolio), Kyra Sedgwick (Olivia), Brian Murray (Sir Toby Belch) and David Patrick Kelly (Feste). This production is visually resplendent, but being able to hear a live audience reaction adds tremendously to the viewing experience of a musical comedy, something that British TV productions of Shakespeare do not offer. What's the draw of Twelfth Night for me? Maybe it's my discovery and delight that most of the sitcoms I grew up on--Three's Company in particular--are just a variation on this 17th century play, where mistaken identity, sexual confusion and eavesdropping gone wrong lead to comedy nirvana. The woman who carries herself as a man and the furor this leaves in her wake, shaking up the status quo, might be a theme that appeals a great deal to me, as is the portrayal of a great comic drunk, with Sir Toby Belch also knocking down perceptions of propriety like bowling pins every time he enters a scene. And it's fuckin' funny. Act three Scene 1 Olivia's garden. Viola and Feste, who is carrying a small drum, enter. Viola Greetings, friend, and your music too. Do you live by drumming? Feste No, sir. I live by the church. Viola Are you a cleric? Feste Not at all, sir. I live by the church because I live at my house, and my house is near the church. Viola So you could just as well say "The king lives by begging" if a beggar lives near him. Or that the church is near your drum if the drum happens to be near the church. Feste You've said it, sir! Such are the times! A sentence is just a kid glove to a quick-witted man. It can easily be turned inside out! Viola Yes, that's true. Those who play about with words can quickly give them indecent meanings. Feste Therefore I wish my sister had no name, sir. Viola Why, man? Feste Why, sir, her name is a word, and to play about with that word might make my sister indecent. But indeed, words truly become rascals since they were disgraced with being bonds. Viola Your reason, man? Feste Goodness, sir. I can't give you one without using words, and words have become so unreliable I'm reluctant to use them to prove a reason. Viola You're a happy-go-lucky fellow. I'll be bound, and you care about nothing. Feste Not at all, sir. I do care for something. But upon my conscience, sir, I don't care for you. If that's caring about nothing, sir, I wish it would make you invisible. Viola Aren't you the Lady Olivia's fool? Feste No indeed, sir. Lady Olivia does not go in for entertainment. She won't have a fool till she's married; and fools are like husbands as sardines are to herrings--the husband's the bigger. Indeed I am not her fool. I'm her corrupter of words. Other observations on this viewing/reread of the comedy: -- Viola is the liberated woman of Shakespeare's plays. Neither royal personage nor loyal daughter, she's bound to no one and personified instead by her education and skills set. Shipwrecked in Illyria, she quickly gets a job, emissary of the lovesick bachelor Duke Orsino, confident that she can "sing and speak to him in music." Viola is fluent in French as well, and is able to pass herself off as a boy, Cesario, likely due to her observations of men. Of course, Viola does not account for falling in love with her boss, whose only expectation of Cesario is that the boy woo the Lady Olivia for him. Hijinks ensue. -- Do you like fools? Shakespearean fools? Those characters whose jesting allows them to speak the truth without their heads ending up on a chopping block? Twelfth Night offers up three classic examples: Feste, the professional fool, willing to sing any song or provide any insight at any hour if there's a purse involved. Sir Toby Belch, the rascal and drunkard, pushing the generosity of his cousin, the Lady Olivia, as far as it will go in the pursuit of a good time. Sir Andrew Aguecheek, a rich dandy who seeks to woo Olivia, carouses with both Sir Toby and Feste, his romantic ineptitude and cowardice providing extensive comic relief. In the 1998 Lincoln Center Theater production, David Patrick Kelly (whose impressive run of memorable film psychos stretches from The Warriors in the '70s to The Longest Yard in the '00s) and Max Wright (the dad from the '80s sitcom Alf) played Feste and Sir Andrew and got some of the biggest applause and laughs in the play. As much as I light up when Sir Toby bursts onto the scene, he wouldn't be as compelling in soliloquy. These two characters are invaluable when it comes to demonstrating what a Good Time Charlie that his character is. -- Impossible Love that others find so romantic, like the kind immortalized in Romeo and Juliet, and is sometimes impossible for good reason, isn't to be found in this play, thank god. Instead, Shakespeare seems to be exploring the Possible Love that would exist if characters would take a minute to get it together and drop their facades. Viola must pose as a man to keep her job. Olivia must pose as grief stricken to honor her dead brother. I find Possible Love to be much more compelling because how close I think most people come in real life to experiencing passion and happiness with the right person. April 9, 2014 review My game plan for revisiting Shakespeare was to stream video of a staging of the play, listening and watching while reading along to as much of the original text as was incorporated by the staging. Later, I read the entire play in the modern English version. The staging I found on YouTube was amazing. ITV Saturday Night Theatre: Twelfth Night aired January 6, 1969. It features Alec Guinness as Malvolio, Ralph Richardson as Sir Toby Belch, Joan Plowright as Viola/ Sebastian and Adrienne Corri as Olivia. Each have appeared in some of my favorite movies. Scholars believe the play was first performed January 6, 1601 as an entertainment for Queen Elizabeth as she hosted an Italian nobleman, Don Virginio Orsino. The date of the staging -- 12 nights after Christmas -- accounts for the title of the play, which has no bearing on the story. Twelfth Night is set in Illyria, where ruling Duke Orsino, "a noble duke, in nature and in name" is lovesick over the Countess Olivia, who mourns for a dead brother and has spurned all suitors. The play's protagonist Viola comes ashore with a great opening line -- "What country, friends, is this?". Survivor of a shipwreck, she fears her twin brother Sebastian has drowned. Viola needs a job while she plots her next move and the sea captain who rescued her explains Olivia's pursuit by the Duke. Olivia isn't hiring, but Viola sees an opportunity to work for the Duke by disguising herself as a eunuch. One of my favorite characters in Shakespeare makes his entrance. Sir Toby Belch is Olivia's uncle, a drunken rascal who romances Olivia's whip smart maid Maria, makes enemies of his niece's pompous steward Malvolio and profits from one of her rejected suitors, a knight named Sir Andrew Aguecheek who has more money than brains. Sir Toby exists to eat, drink and play pranks, and his misdemeanors create much of the havoc in the play. In addition, Olivia is served by a fool, Feste, who possesses greater insight and sobriety than Sir Toby but joins him and Maria in their revelry, as well as singing several songs. The Duke dispatches Viola (going by the name Cesario) to the court of Olivia to woo her on his behalf, but believing the messenger to be a persuasive young man, Olivia falls in love with Viola. This complicates feelings Viola has developed for the Duke. Meanwhile, Malvolio throws such a wet blanket on Sir Toby's fun that Olivia's uncle and maid play a trick on him, writing a love letter in Olivia's hand expressing her undying love for the steward, if he dress in yellow stocking and cross-garters (a fashion which Olivia despises) and harass her servants. Malvolio falls for the trick and comes on like such a lunatic that Olivia orders him locked in a basement. Not content, Sir Toby plots a trick on Viola and Sir Andrew by making both fear the other wishes to engage in a duel. Sir Toby is confident that Viola is just as timid with a sword as Sir Andrew, but doesn't factor her twin brother Sebastian arriving in Illyria. After being mistaken for his sister and challenged to a fight, Sebastian wallops both Sir Toby and Sir Andrew and when brought before Olivia for his apology, is stunned to find the countess express her love for him. They marry in secret, which poses great problems for Viola when the Duke discovers "she" has married the countess. Reading this play, it occurred to me that every episode of Three's Company was ripping off Shakespeare. Janet leaves Jack and Chrissy alone in the apartment and fears Jack will make a move on Chrissy, so advises her to play down her attractiveness by dressing in frumpy clothes. Jack instead is more attracted to Chrissy. Then Janet returns to the apartment to find the leftovers of a romantic dinner and Chrissy upset. Janet gets the wrong idea when in fact, Chrissy is upset that Jack didn't make a move! Cue laugh track. Twelfth Night is downright riotous. The comedy comes from the cascade of doublespeak and near misunderstandings, with one character playing fool to another. Being able to penetrate the language or read the play with asides detailing which character is being made an ass of helps the humor find its mark to a modern idiot like me. The play starts slow, but the laughs continue to build and reach a crescendo when Sebastian enters, mistaken for his twin sister by the various jokers of the play, who end of being played for fools.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Bookdragon Sean

    I really didn’t expect to like this. Most comedy is wasted on me, but Shakespearean comedy is just so damn funny. Reading this play is only half the picture. I think this is a play that really must be seen in performance as well. I watched a DvD version of the recent globe production and I was practically rolling on my living room floor with laughter. It had an all-male cast, which just made it even better. Mark Rylance as Olivia was just pure comic genius, and Stephen Fry as Malvolio was just a I really didn’t expect to like this. Most comedy is wasted on me, but Shakespearean comedy is just so damn funny. Reading this play is only half the picture. I think this is a play that really must be seen in performance as well. I watched a DvD version of the recent globe production and I was practically rolling on my living room floor with laughter. It had an all-male cast, which just made it even better. Mark Rylance as Olivia was just pure comic genius, and Stephen Fry as Malvolio was just awkward and hilarious. It was simply amazing. The scene with the yellow stockings was just perfect. Malvolio is in love with Olivia, and as a joke several knights play a trick on him. Olivia detests the colour yellow, so they tell him she loves it and that it makes her weak at the knees. As a consequence, Malvolio gets himself a nice big pair of yellow stocking and brandishes them in her presence. She is disgusted with them, and him; she then tells him to go to bed, which he misinterprets as “let’s go to bed together.” So, he tries his luck and ends up in a rather amusing looking prison cell. That’s only one small aspect of the plot, but arguably one of the funniest. I couldn’t think of a better Malvolio that Stephen Fry; he came across as pedantic, arrogant and horny. It’s a rather funny combination. Love is a fickly and awkward thing. It is often won by accident and happenchance. All sought after love in this is denied, and all accidental love is pursued and granted. Viola/Cesario falls in love with Orsino whilst trying to persuade Olivia to love Orsino, which results in Olivia falling in love with Viola/Ceasrio. It’s a complicated, and ironic, love triangle, which is only resolved by it gaining another edge and becoming a love square. Sebastian, Viola’s brother, comes along which Olivia mistakes for Viola; she “saves” him from a group of knights and declares her love to him. Sebastian is confused and bewildered because he’s never seen this woman before in his life; she swoons over him and claims him as hers. It’s all very funny and a little bit of a headache if you’ve never read this. Mistaken identity is the reason for all of this. Viola is pretending to be a man, which makes her look just like her brother, and leads to the comic confusion. This may sound complex, but it’s not. It’s perhaps one of the easiest of Shakespeare’s plays to follow, if you struggle with that sort of thing. The all-male cast of the globe production made the gender divides even stranger. There was a man acting a female character who was pretending to be a man. It was all so good. Olivia was melodramatic and ridiculously exaggerated as a female, which made the production so ludicrously entertaining. If you’ve got a spare few hours, and your're in need of a good laugh, I recommend watching it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    So this one doesn't rank terribly high on the believability scale, but this is still my favorite Shakespeare comedy. It's absurd to have a set of fraternal twins -- brother and sister! -- who look so much alike that people who know them reasonably well can't tell them apart. Shakespeare may not have been entirely clear on the distinction between identical and fraternal twins or, more likely, he just didn't care. But push the Disbelief Suspension button here and just go have fun with this love tr So this one doesn't rank terribly high on the believability scale, but this is still my favorite Shakespeare comedy. It's absurd to have a set of fraternal twins -- brother and sister! -- who look so much alike that people who know them reasonably well can't tell them apart. Shakespeare may not have been entirely clear on the distinction between identical and fraternal twins or, more likely, he just didn't care. But push the Disbelief Suspension button here and just go have fun with this love triangle: So besides all this Crazy Love, there's other excitement: a shipwreck! (okay, that's before the play actually starts, but still.) Viola washes up on shore, all alone in the world ... well, actually she was rescued by another ship, and the captain has taken a personal interest in her and is giving her some solid advice and help. But they're on the seashore! and she's kind of alone because she's lost her twin brother Sebastian in the shipwreck. But life goes on, so Viola (prudently, she thinks) disguises herself as a guy, calls herself Cesario and goes to work for Duke Orsino as his page. And then she promptly falls in love with him, which is a little hard to understand because he's dejectedly mooning around his mansion all full of unrequited love for the fair Olivia, but whatever. Probably money, power, good looks his sensitive heart and kind soul appeal to her. All direct appeals for Olivia's heart having failed, Orsino decides to send Viola/Cesario to plead his case, because sending a good-looking guy (even if not really a guy) to speak of matters of love to the object of your affections always works so well. Case in point: Olivia promptly ... well, go look at the above chart again. Also, in case all this lurve stuff bores you, we have some practical joking going on: Olivia has an arrogant steward named Malvolio, and Olivia's uncle Sir Toby Belch has had it with him. So he recruits another rejected suitor of Olivia, name of Andrew Aguecheek (yes, these are the real names) and another person or two to prank Malvolio, because what we really needed here was one more guy chasing after the fair Olivia. Their punking of him gradually gets increasingly cruel. Things really get whipped into a froth when (view spoiler)[the supposedly dead Sebastian shows up, runs into Olivia (who thinks she's the Cesario guy who's been avoiding her), is overwhelmed by Olivia's charms and marries her the same day! (hide spoiler)] This throws a massive wrench into the works before everyone speedily settles down with the right person. Whew! The comedic subplot with Olivia's arrogant steward Malvolio being taken down a notch or twenty by the pranks of Sir Toby and Sir Andrew is pretty humorous, though, depending on whether you can muster up any sympathy for Malvolio at all, you may be squirming in your seat by the end. Thanks to Anne for her hilarious review of this play and for reminding me of it!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Samra Yusuf

    Twelfth night being the last comedy of William Shakespeare, is highly acclaimed and panned at equal measures. We come to peruse and praise his literary genius through his artistic handling of different themes packed in one play. On the surface, the play exhibits traces of mistaken identity, deception, Lovesickness, melancholy, desire and abundance, gender and sex, master and servant, but on the broader canvass, the colors are more vivid and glaring laden with undercurrent meanings of these theme Twelfth night being the last comedy of William Shakespeare, is highly acclaimed and panned at equal measures. We come to peruse and praise his literary genius through his artistic handling of different themes packed in one play. On the surface, the play exhibits traces of mistaken identity, deception, Lovesickness, melancholy, desire and abundance, gender and sex, master and servant, but on the broader canvass, the colors are more vivid and glaring laden with undercurrent meanings of these themes. Where, fools are philosophers and dukes are idiotic, where an effeminate pageboy of the duke is more appealing to countess than the duke himself, where drunken dumbheads are predators and sober generals forcefully proved crazy, and where woman when attired in men’s dress, are valued more. In such society, twelfth night is a penance to those who delight in it as comedy!!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Trevor

    A few years ago I read a review of some film that had come out and I was sure I would never see – read the review almost carelessly while flicking through the arts section of the paper on a Saturday morning, no, I must have been clicking over The Age Home Page. The woman who wrote the review commented that whatever the film was had been based on Twelfth Night – which she considered that most ridiculous of Shakespeare’s plays – she really could not see how anyone could be bothered to reproduce th A few years ago I read a review of some film that had come out and I was sure I would never see – read the review almost carelessly while flicking through the arts section of the paper on a Saturday morning, no, I must have been clicking over The Age Home Page. The woman who wrote the review commented that whatever the film was had been based on Twelfth Night – which she considered that most ridiculous of Shakespeare’s plays – she really could not see how anyone could be bothered to reproduce this nonsense of Shakespeare’s based on the all too unfunny humour of cross-dressing and confused sexuality. I emailed Fiona the link with some comment to the effect, “Look at what this stupid bitch has written.” Did I mention that this review was in The Age – that once great newspaper? If anything symbolises the tragic fall that newspaper has suffered… Anyway, I’ve been trying to remember when I first saw Twelfth Night on telly. My ex-wife and I were away for a dirty weekend and it must have been before I had started university the first time around – the Physics me. I think it was raining outside (we hadn’t gone for the scenery, so the rain was immaterial) and the hotel room had a television. I lay the wrong way on the bed and flicked to channel two and Felicity Kendal appeared, hooded, on a beach – remarkably dry, all things considered – and I instantly feel madly and helplessly in love, first with her but then much more in love with the play. I love everything about this play. I love all of the obvious things, the boys falling in love with girls who are dressed as boys but are really girls. I love the girls falling in love with ‘youths’ (even before that word became pejorative and male as my daughter, Fiona is now fond of telling me) who are really girls, but end up married to girls who actually aren’t girls, but also not who they think they are but really the girl’s brother… I love the perfectly controlled and perfectly understandable complexity and messiness of it all. But most I love that it isn’t just a ‘romantic comedy’ – or perhaps I should lay the stress on ‘just’ in that sentence. There are dark themes operating here that are anything but funny. Sir Toby may be Falstaff and may be the life of the party – but he is also a bastard who uses and abuses those around him without mercy or favour. He is a selfish, self-centred prick – pure and simple. And yet we love him and cheer him on and are putty in his hands. He may be the sort of uncle that we all too often are forced to ask – O, how came you so early by this ‘lethargy’? – when we mean – how the hell can you possibly be so pissed this early in the morning? But still, none of us hope Malvolio will find him hiding out of sight when the letter is carefully left to be found – none of us hope Malvolio will not be fooled by the letter. All the same at the end when Malvolio is released how is it possible to not feel dreadful for him when he says, “Madam, you had done me wrong, notorious wrong.” When we realise that we have spent the play decidedly not standing in his shoes and now Shakespeare is going to make sure we are aware of just what that has meant for this fellow human being. Yes, still not a loveable character – but a fellow human nonetheless. I took Fiona to see this when she was about 8 – she is now about 18. It was a week night and a school night and we both rushed up to the theatre at the Arts Centre and both sat transfixed. I’m sure both of us must have worried that this play would prove far beyond what she would be able to understand. I had built it up so much that when it started I thought ‘oh god, I’ll ruin Shakespeare for her for life’. But at the end, when the actors had caught sight of her as the youngest in the audience and clearly made a point of catching her eye and were making a fuss of her from the stage and it was also clear she had understood all of the complications that make the last moments of this play so hilariously funny as she was bursting in gales of uncontrollably laughter, I knew that this would be a moment we would both remember and treasure always. Quality time normally comes from quantity time – but sometimes it can be planned. Years later – I think on my fortieth birthday – we went again to see a production of the play, this time with Fi, her sister, my parents and my intellectually disabled older sister, and again it proved to be a magical night. That night, as we were coming out at interval, a woman in front of me turned to the young man she had brought with her to see the play and said, “Of course Malvolio is Italian for Bad Will” – I was studying Italian at the time and thought – “Shit, of course it is, why hadn’t I realised that myself?”. Such are the things directly under my nose that I so rarely see. I’ve never been terribly good at the obvious. And I love the songs – particularly O Mistress Mine (‘Youth’s the stuff will not endure’, and how true that has proven) – and I love the little jokes and Feste, yes, particularly Feste, who I still think has some of the best lines in the play. And how could anyone not fall in love with someone who says that their preferred method of wooing you would be to, Make me a willow cabin at your gate, And call upon my soul within the house, Write loyal canton and contemned love, And sing them loud even in the dead of night; Holla your name to the reverberate hills, And make the babbling gossip of the air Cry out ‘Olivia!’ O, you should not rest Between the elements of the air and earth, But you should pity me”? And understatement of the century (17th of course) Olivia: You might do much Too bloody right she/he might do much. Two more things and then I’m done. The one is where the gardener, Fabian to his friends, waits until we are completely taken in and then slaps us awake with, “If this were played upon a stage now, I could condemn it as an improbable fiction.” Now, what about that? How much balls would that take to write? If you ever needed proof that great writers are totally unconcerned about whether or not they have allowed you to ‘suspended disbelief’ I think you could hardly look further than this. Shakespeare is so certain we are at the edge of our seats he knows he can laugh at us for being so completely sucked in and we will still barely come up for air. The other thing is this: Malvolio: By my life, this is my lady’s hand: these be her very c’s, her u’s and her t’s, and thus makes she her great P’s. It is, in contempt of question, her hand. Sir Andrew: Her c’s, her u’s and her t’s, why that? For years, like Sir Andrew, I wondered why that as well. One day I even went to the local library and found a reference book that told me that although this was clearly a joke at the time, the mists that separate us from Will mean we will never know. In a word: Bollocks. It is hardly remarkable that we find the same things funny now as they did then – and sexual humour is sexual humour and like a well told fart joke will always be funny. There was a film recently called Into The Cut, that also used the word ‘cut’ as slang for female genitalia and pee is still slang for ‘to urinate’ – none of this is obscure at all. Fortunately, I was able to find a second book in the same library that had not been written in the 1950s and was not nearly so prudish or so reticent to explain what ‘a cut’ was. I’m a bit embarrassed I needed it explained, but I cover it well. When people ask me what is my favourite play by Shakespeare I always hesitate – I mean, how could I possibly say this one when compared to the utter majesty of Lear or Hamlet? I must review Lear one of these days – no play is as likely to bring tears, no play so horrible and distressing or remarkable or devastatingly good. But the truth is that this play simply isn’t the same thing as Lear – it seems strange to give them the same name ‘play’ and really they can’t be compared. I love them both and possibly even equally – but for entirely different reasons. But it is love. Even the thought of this play makes me smile – it is a pure delight and all the confirmation one needs of the genius that is Shakespeare.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Whitney Atkinson

    I liked the dialogue in this one a lot more than the first one we read for class (A Comedy of Errors). I love the whole "girl poses as a guy in order to trick misogynists into letting her participate in their society" trope, and I just in general loved Olivia and Viola as characters, so I was super into this. My only complaint is that the ending wraps up too swiftly for me and a few of the plotlines were just kinda smooshed into one grand finale, but I was left wanting more. Not the best Shakesp I liked the dialogue in this one a lot more than the first one we read for class (A Comedy of Errors). I love the whole "girl poses as a guy in order to trick misogynists into letting her participate in their society" trope, and I just in general loved Olivia and Viola as characters, so I was super into this. My only complaint is that the ending wraps up too swiftly for me and a few of the plotlines were just kinda smooshed into one grand finale, but I was left wanting more. Not the best Shakespeare I've read (but I mean, NOTHING compares to hamlet), but still an enjoyable read that I didn't dread picking up.

  16. 4 out of 5

    leynes

    “She’s The Man is better than its source material,” I say into the mic. The crowd boos. I begin to walk off in shame, when a voice speaks and commands silence from the room. “She’s right,” they say. I look for the owner of the voice. There in the 3rd row he stands: Willie Shakes himself. *** Let me break it down for you: Orsino is in love with Olivia, despite the fact that he has never seen her. Malvolio thinks Olivia is in love with him, Sir Andrew thinks he can marry Olivia. Sebastian agrees to ma “She’s The Man is better than its source material,” I say into the mic. The crowd boos. I begin to walk off in shame, when a voice speaks and commands silence from the room. “She’s right,” they say. I look for the owner of the voice. There in the 3rd row he stands: Willie Shakes himself. *** Let me break it down for you: Orsino is in love with Olivia, despite the fact that he has never seen her. Malvolio thinks Olivia is in love with him, Sir Andrew thinks he can marry Olivia. Sebastian agrees to marry Olivia two minutes after meeting her. Olivia thinks she can marry ‘Cesario’ (who is in fact Viola in disguise). Antonio thinks Viola is Sebastian (her twin brother; don’t ask), Sir Andrew and Sir Toby think Sebastian is Viola, Malvolio thinks Feste is Sir Topas. Viola thinks Sir Andrew a redoubtable swordsman and he thinks the same of her. For real, who is supposed to keep up with that shit? A shirtless Channing Tatum is all I wanted. I’m not that hard to please, Shakes. Also, Antonio and Sebastian are hella gay, and you can’t tell me otherwise. Sebastian dropped Olivia like a hot potato as soon as he was reunited with his one true love. “Antonio! O, my dear Antonio! How have the hours racked and tortured me since I have lost thee.” Previous to this, Antonio was bragging about how he hasn't left Sebastian's side for three months, both day and night.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    Some of these people, my gosh, Janelle Monae and Frank Ocean and Emma Gonzalez, they seem to have moved altogether past gender, right? Oh brave new world. And here's Shakespeare, who once again is meeting us in the future. Let’s get to it: in Elizabethan times, female parts on the stage were played by men, so we’re starting with cross-dressing. Shakespeare was inspired and amused by this, and he often plays with it. Twelfth Night is the best example, and one of his most enduring comedies. Here’s Some of these people, my gosh, Janelle Monae and Frank Ocean and Emma Gonzalez, they seem to have moved altogether past gender, right? Oh brave new world. And here's Shakespeare, who once again is meeting us in the future. Let’s get to it: in Elizabethan times, female parts on the stage were played by men, so we’re starting with cross-dressing. Shakespeare was inspired and amused by this, and he often plays with it. Twelfth Night is the best example, and one of his most enduring comedies. Here’s how it goes: Viola, played by a man, disguises herself as a man. As a man she tries to woo Olivia for this guy Orsino. She falls in love with Orsino herself. Of course, Olivia falls in love with Man Viola. But there’s a real Man Viola - Viola’s lost brother Sebastian - whom Olivia meets later and mistakes for Man Viola, and who's played by the same guy anyway. "An apple cleft in two is not more twin Than these two creatures." So we're running, what, four levels deep? Man plays woman plays man mistaken for another man who actually exists. Meanwhile Orsino has fallen for Viola even though he thinks she's a man: Diana's lip Is not more smooth and rubious, thy small pipe Is as the maiden's organ, shrill and sound, And all is semblative a woman's part," he says to her. In the end Olivia and the brother get married, and so do Viola and Orsino. All is well. I know! "This is to give a dog and in recompense desire my dog again." Shakespeare seems indifferent to gender in ways we’re only starting to catch up with now. Here’s his famous 20th Sonnet: A woman’s face, with nature’s own hand painted, Hast thou, the master-mistress of my passion; A woman’s gentle heart, but not acquainted With shifting change, as is false women’s fashion; An eye more bright than theirs, less false in rolling, Gilding the object whereupon it gazeth; A man in hue, all hues in his controlling, Which steals men’s eyes and women’s souls amazeth. And for a woman wert thou first created, Till nature as she wrought thee fell a-doting, And by addition me of thee defeated, By adding one thing to my purpose nothing.   But since she pricked thee out for women’s pleasure,   Mine be thy love, and thy love’s use their treasure. Here again, he seems to talk about love above gender. Shakespeare’s identity, sexual and physically, has been in question for ages; he’s a trickster and he’s a genius, and we’re collectively in a bit of a tizzy about it. I have no horse in this race. I like the world weird. It's the future now, and some brave new vanguard of us are wiggling into some kind of post gender, post sexual orientation kind of situation. And here we are with hoary old Shakespeare, who seems to have beaten us to it, doesn't he? Plays like this will of course end traditionally, with everyone heteropaired off. But in between there's a confusion of flirting; anything seems possible. Dude Viola, pretending to make Orsino's case to Olivia, is clearly flirting with her instead. Everyone marries the hetero version of whatever they’re into, but in actual real life it’s the same thing. I’ve been spending all this time talking about gender politics and I’ve forgotten to talk about the play. Will you like it? Sortof. The problem with Shakespeare's comedies is that they employ a lot of puns and wordplay, and that exposes our unfamiliarity with Shakespeare's words. There are these long scenes with people giggling about back-tricks and codding, and you just don't understand a word of it. Toby: What is thy excellence in a galliard, knight? Andrew: Faith, I can cut a caper. Toby: And I can cut the mutton to't. What the fuck is that? Who cares? There's a sub plot involving Toby, Andrew, Maria and Malvolio that should be entirely ignored. It's Shakespeare at his most impenetrable. The only fun part of it is, we get this famous quote: "Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them." Fun to see Shakespeare, here at the peak of his powers, just throwing shit around; these are immortal lines that've inspired countless dumb tattoos and dumber political speeches, and they come from a fake letter in a shitty subplot in a comedy. (And for that matter, they are considerably more dick-joke-oriented than these college students and politicians probably had in mind. Greatness! Thrust!) Act III is almost totally lost to this nonsense. But this gender-bending shit - I want to be serious for a hot minute here. Shakespeare’s tragedies are more accessible than his comedies. This comedy, I like for its gender politics mostly. I’m a cis man. I was born a straight white man and that’s worked out great for me and I’ve never really had to debate anything. (I had sex with a guy once to see what it was like, don’t get me wrong, but let’s not confuse tourism with life.) To live in a world where people get to question and, if necessary, redefine their genders, or even discard the word - that makes the world richer for me. There are more stories. I don’t think it’s meaningless to have support from the best writer in the history of the planet. Here's what makes Shakespeare great: wherever humans find ourselves, we find him somehow there ahead of us.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Darwin8u

    "If you be not mad, be gone; if you have reason, be brief." - William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night I liked it, but didn't love it. Positives: I always like Shakespeare's gender benders. The Bard enjoys not playing characters straight. He doesn't want a love story or even a love triangle, Shakespeare wants to explore all the tangents, the lines, and the angles of love's many geometries. He is a great experimenter of the human soul. He is the Faraday of romance, unsatisfied until he has teased out all "If you be not mad, be gone; if you have reason, be brief." - William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night I liked it, but didn't love it. Positives: I always like Shakespeare's gender benders. The Bard enjoys not playing characters straight. He doesn't want a love story or even a love triangle, Shakespeare wants to explore all the tangents, the lines, and the angles of love's many geometries. He is a great experimenter of the human soul. He is the Faraday of romance, unsatisfied until he has teased out all the attractions and repulsions possible. Negatives: I'm not a fan of Shakespeare's musical comedies. I don't include A Midsummer Night's Dream on this list, because I consider that play to be one of Shakespeare's great LYRICAL plays (along with Richard II and Romeo and Juliet). Anyway, anytime Shakespeare's actors start singing and dancing, I want to use that time/space to grab a popcorn or pee. Just not my jam. Favorite Lines: "If music be the food of love, play on." (Act 1, Scene 1) “Better a witty fool, than a foolish wit.” (Act 1, Scene 5) “Well, God give them wisdom that have it; and those that are fools, let them use their talents.” (Act 1, Scene 5) “Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage.” (Act 1, Scene 5) “Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.” (Act 2, Scene 5) “I say there is no darkness but ignorance.” (Act 4, Scene 2)

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)

    4 Stars Overview "Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them." While not his most well-known work, The Twelfth Night is certainly one of my favorite works by Shakespeare. I've always enjoyed his comedies more than his tragedies, and this one was filled with his trademark wit and crazy situations Pros: Shakespeare loved him some wordplay, and as always, it's masterful. The jokes were quick and hilarious, while still reveali 4 Stars Overview "Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them." While not his most well-known work, The Twelfth Night is certainly one of my favorite works by Shakespeare. I've always enjoyed his comedies more than his tragedies, and this one was filled with his trademark wit and crazy situations Pros: Shakespeare loved him some wordplay, and as always, it's masterful. The jokes were quick and hilarious, while still revealing things about the characters-- such as Sir Andrews misunderstanding of the word "accost" allowing the audience to learn how truly "refined" he is. While this was most certainly a comedy, there were several gorgeous passages dedicated to love and life, and I found Shakespeare's prose as beautiful and smooth as ever. This whole play revolves around Viola, a young lady who survives a shipwreck and decides to get ahead in life by dressing as a man and the antics that result from this. In itself this was quite funny, but I loved imagining it the way Shakespeare intended. With an all male cast, Viola would have been a man playing a woman playing a man. Who do I have to pay to get a retelling where Antonio and Sebastian end up together? Cons: Parts of this felt like Shakespeare just wanted to cut to the action, so most of the build-up or character motivation was just glossed over. For instance, why does Viola dress as a man? We're told it's to get ahead in the world, but how she plans on doing that just never made sense to me. Quite a few dated jokes-- which seems like a ridiculous complaint to make about something written in 1602, but it did impact my enjoyment of the story. I had to suspend disbelief that there could be a pair of fraternal twins who looked so alike people could confuse them. And one particular vulgar joke relies upon Elizabethan slang for a woman's lady bits. In Conclusion: As always, Shakespeare is the king of wit, and this was hilarious-- even if a bit rushed or absurd in places.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    A play that can really come alive when staged, as opposed to read. As with many of Shakespeare's comedies, there's lots of frivolity and crazy fun, undergirded with some darker themes.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Foad

    باز هم جا به جا شدن شخصيت ها با هم! كم كم دارم به اين نتيجه مى رسم كه شكسپير فقط همين يك ايده رو براى نمايش كمدى داشته و توى همه ى نمايش هاى كمدى ش از همين ايده استفاده كرده.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    You know what? I think this play is the Shakespearean equivalent of Three’s Company, a laugh-track comedy with goofball characters and preposterous situations that trigger a chain of events you can see coming a mile away. We’re talking here about a play in which a woman masquerades as a man (pretty much for the hell of it), deceiving everyone into believing she’s a dude without testes—because how else do you, in the absence of injectable testosterone products, convince people you’re a dude other You know what? I think this play is the Shakespearean equivalent of Three’s Company, a laugh-track comedy with goofball characters and preposterous situations that trigger a chain of events you can see coming a mile away. We’re talking here about a play in which a woman masquerades as a man (pretty much for the hell of it), deceiving everyone into believing she’s a dude without testes—because how else do you, in the absence of injectable testosterone products, convince people you’re a dude other than to pretend you’ve been castrated as a young boy? She manages even to convince a wealthy countess of her “maleness,” inadvertently eliciting the countess’s romantic interests, this of course culminating in a wacky situation indeed because the girl herself is in love with the duke she is working for—the very duke who sent her to the countess in the first place to procure the countess’s love for him! OMFG! But this is a play in five acts, guys, so the Jack Tripper shenanigans don’t end there. The testicle-free girl has a brother—that’s all, just a brother (there are no identical twins anywhere in this play)—and that alone is enough to exacerbate confusion to the extreme. Because by the dual condition that A) she has a brother; and B) she is pretending to be a dude; it must therefore follow that C) she looks exactly like him. And when I say “exactly,” I mean precisely. The two are virtually indistinguishable from one another—even without having had Adam’s apple reduction surgery. Amazing, right? So now we have a girl being mistaken for her brother, her brother being mistaken for her, and this occurring even among people who know the brother intimately. One had spent every day of the last three months with this guy and still thought his sister were he! Can’t you just imagine this whole thing playing out at the Regal Beagle or something? Mr. Furley’s wide eyes darting back and forth in surprise, Chrissy scratching her head in disbelief, Jack hiding under the table, Janet watering her plants. But all ribbing aside, I actually liked this play. Not as much as Shakespeare’s tragedies, of course—I honestly do believe this particular play is heavier on entertainment value than it is on literary value, but I’m the kind of guy who enjoys a good Three’s Company rerun. Irrespective of situational believability or plot predictability, when it is executed well enough, I am wholly entertained.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Aubrey

    3.5/5 I'm glad I read this in class because I wouldn't have gotten much out of it otherwise. Shakespeare may be Shakespeare, but I am also I, and I know my tastes well enough to have before reading this thought "Bro I love certain pieces of your work but I'm fairly certain this is not going to have a honeymoon ending." Comedies tend to make me nervous with their glee and their joy and their soap bubble ideologies, and while the playwright did some wonderfully complex things with gender and the tr 3.5/5 I'm glad I read this in class because I wouldn't have gotten much out of it otherwise. Shakespeare may be Shakespeare, but I am also I, and I know my tastes well enough to have before reading this thought "Bro I love certain pieces of your work but I'm fairly certain this is not going to have a honeymoon ending." Comedies tend to make me nervous with their glee and their joy and their soap bubble ideologies, and while the playwright did some wonderfully complex things with gender and the tropes of romance, this would have gone much better seen rather than read. The resulting decrease in reading comprehension and increase in visual hilarity would have made the actual (view spoiler)[honeymoon (hide spoiler)] ending (is that really a spoiler? it's a comedy, after all) of the play closer to my own enjoyment. I didn't start seriously contemplating this play until the first group presentation (this and 'King Lear' are being taught with groups taking apart an act a piece. group work. ugh) put for a discussion question about Orsino's ridiculous conceptions of romance. The great thing about these survey courses is the natural inclination of my brain to store away my most recent readings for random connection time with future reads becomes useful for more than just review writing. Before the class reached Shakespeare, we were on King Arthur and Sir Gawain and all that religiously strictured socioeconomic academics like to call 'courtly love', a mental state that many a male sonnet writer in the line of Spencer and Raleigh utilized and those such Wroth and Shakespeare made a mockery of. Shakespeare does a lot more to deconstruct the ideals of love and its lot in his sonnets than this particular play, but picking up on subtle critiques propagates its own breed of readerly pleasure. As for the gender. I'm also getting this from others in terms of character foils, which I rarely pay attention to and may need to start doing so in light of what can be derived from this work. If you think about it, Viola and Olivia are the sort of characters that rarely coexist because, at their most basic tenets, they're the same character archetype. They're both young, they're both within the same class bracket, they were both raised with brothers and are at the time of the play completely without parents. The clincher, of course, is that they're both female, a gender that is rarely going to be differentiated along complex and humanizing lines by the creator because, frankly, it's not going to be necessary with all the well wrought men running around. The reason why this is worthy of note is how both characters would normally have both been rich wilting delicate flower beauty types, making out the condition as a natural tendency of women rather than the inevitable result of a constricting and emotionally deprived situation except, well, they're not. Sure, Viola disguises herself as a man, but no one catches her out for acting in such a way that could not be anything other than "womanly". For further character foil business, see Malvolio and the treatment of his acted out fantasies versus Viola's fully embraced desires of illusion and dreams. One cannot expect to play only half the fool and fully win the day.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Reckoner

    Πιο πολύ και απο την ιδια την ιστορία ξεχωρίζει το χιούμορ και η ειρωνεία του ποιητή. Ανεκδιήγητες φάρσες και ερωτικά μπερδέματα, δηλητηριώδεις και παιχνιδιάρικες ατάκες αποτελούν τον πυρήνα του θεατρικού αυτού. Θα ήταν πολύ ενδιαφέρον αν δινόταν περισσότερος χρόνος στον υποτιθέμενο τραβεστισμό της Βιόλα που ντύνεται Σεζάριο για να εισχωρήσει στην αυλή του Δούκα Όρσινο, προκειμένου να εξασφαλίσει την επιβίωση της. Όμως ο Όρσινο είναι ερωτευμένος με την Ολίβια η οποία πενθεί τον χαμό του αδερφού Πιο πολύ και απο την ιδια την ιστορία ξεχωρίζει το χιούμορ και η ειρωνεία του ποιητή. Ανεκδιήγητες φάρσες και ερωτικά μπερδέματα, δηλητηριώδεις και παιχνιδιάρικες ατάκες αποτελούν τον πυρήνα του θεατρικού αυτού. Θα ήταν πολύ ενδιαφέρον αν δινόταν περισσότερος χρόνος στον υποτιθέμενο τραβεστισμό της Βιόλα που ντύνεται Σεζάριο για να εισχωρήσει στην αυλή του Δούκα Όρσινο, προκειμένου να εξασφαλίσει την επιβίωση της. Όμως ο Όρσινο είναι ερωτευμένος με την Ολίβια η οποία πενθεί τον χαμό του αδερφού της και αποκρούει τα ερωτευμένα και εμμονικα βέλη του δούκα. Οταν ο Σεζάριο θα πηγαίνει καθε μερα στην αυλή της Ολίβια για να την πείσει για τον έρωτα του αφέντη του, εκείνη θα ερωτευτεί αυτόν/αυτη. Μπορεί να υπονοούνται και να μην τους δίνεται ο απαραίτητος χρόνος όμως τα θέματα της σεξουαλικής ταυτότητας και της ερωτικής έλξης είναι ορατά. Βέβαια το τέλος αποδεικνύει το εφήμερο του ερωτικού ενθουσιασμού με τον Σαίξπηρ να ειρωνεύεται υποθέτω τις μεγάλες και απόλυτες αγάπες. Αν παρατηρήσετε την τελευταία σκηνή θα αντιληφθείτε οτι υπάρχει ένας πιθανός ομοερωτισμός μεταξυ του Δουκα και του Σεζάριο. Ακόμα και μετα την αποκάλυψη της πραγματικής της ταυτότητας η Βιόλα δεν αλλάζει αμέσως και ο Δούκας φαίνεται να είχε γοητευτεί ευθύς εξαρχής απο εκείνη ως νεαρό. Μεγάλη μορφή ο τρελός γελωτοποιός Φέστε που αποδεικνύεται ο πιό σοφός και διορατικός απο όλους. Ευαγγέλιο τα λόγια που ξεστομίζει, χιουμοριστικά και κυνικά. Ξεγλιστράει απο όλους σαν το χέλι.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    One of my book resolutions this year is to read more classics, including some of Shakespeare's plays. Shockingly, I've only read a couple, but ironically I read Twelfth Night at the tender age of 14 as part of my year 9 English class. I wanted to see how much I remembered etc. Surprising, not much. Basically Viola and her brother Sebastian are involved in a shipwreck, washing up on the shores of Illyria. Both think the other is dead, and Viola dresses up as a bloke to protect her honour or whate One of my book resolutions this year is to read more classics, including some of Shakespeare's plays. Shockingly, I've only read a couple, but ironically I read Twelfth Night at the tender age of 14 as part of my year 9 English class. I wanted to see how much I remembered etc. Surprising, not much. Basically Viola and her brother Sebastian are involved in a shipwreck, washing up on the shores of Illyria. Both think the other is dead, and Viola dresses up as a bloke to protect her honour or whatever. Hilarity ensures as there's a case of mistaken identity, and some bloke called Malvolio is tricked into thinking he's mental. Sir Toby is awful. As is Antonio and Maria. Olivia is extremely gullible, and probably wishes by the end that she'd married Viola and not Sebastian. I know I would have, she's by far the best character of the bunch and has a way with words. As is The Fool, with his dry remarks and witty repartee. Not my favourite, but it's alright. Props to this copy, which included a modern translation after the original text to help when I couldn't be bothered to think about what was being said. It stopped me from loosing track several times.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Vivian

    Comedies are never my favorites of Shakespeare, though this was quite a delightful reading for Yule. A bit silly and nonsensical does make it fanciful and worked well for me. Honestly, Shakespeare is one of those things that I think is infinitely better in performance than reading, especially the comedies. It was between Twelfth Night and A Winter's Tale--I chose this one. I suppose I'll save A Winter's Tale for next Yule and finally read the bloodbath that is Titus Andronicus. Onwards!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Pink

    I've just written another review for a more modern play, complaining about how they're not made for reading, but watching. Although I'd say Shakespeare kind of breaks that rule. I often enjoy the words on the page as much, if not more than watching a stage performance. However, I feel like Twelfth Night needs to be seen. There's quite a lot of stage direction and subtleties that are missed just by reading, or at least they are if you're not familiar with the story. I chose to watch a production I've just written another review for a more modern play, complaining about how they're not made for reading, but watching. Although I'd say Shakespeare kind of breaks that rule. I often enjoy the words on the page as much, if not more than watching a stage performance. However, I feel like Twelfth Night needs to be seen. There's quite a lot of stage direction and subtleties that are missed just by reading, or at least they are if you're not familiar with the story. I chose to watch a production of this first (Mark Rylance at The Globe, utterly brilliant), as I knew I might get confused otherwise. Coming back to the text, I realised that I'd have missed a great deal if I hadn't seen it first. Nor did I find myself particularly captivated by the language, as I had been with his other plays. So all in all, a mean 3 stars, which for a play, equals about 4+ novel stars.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Romie

    Thoughts two seconds after having finished Twelfth Night: Everybody was gay and the next second, next thing you know it was ‘guess we’re not?’ Honestly it was the weirdest thing I read by Shakespeare. It’s not that nothing made sense but it was a lot of secondary stories colliding with each others to make this main one and it was difficult to follow at times. But yeah, it went from ‘welcome to the land of gays’ to ‘no homo’ in a nano second. For nearly the entire story I thought we would get a f/f Thoughts two seconds after having finished Twelfth Night: Everybody was gay and the next second, next thing you know it was ‘guess we’re not?’ Honestly it was the weirdest thing I read by Shakespeare. It’s not that nothing made sense but it was a lot of secondary stories colliding with each others to make this main one and it was difficult to follow at times. But yeah, it went from ‘welcome to the land of gays’ to ‘no homo’ in a nano second. For nearly the entire story I thought we would get a f/f relationship but huh 'it Shakespeare, Romie, you knew what you were getting yourself into.’ Basically it’s a 2 or 2.25 read

  29. 5 out of 5

    Melindam

    Besides "Much ado about nothing", Twelfth Night is my favourite Shakespeare play. The major character is Viola, who after losing her twin brother, is forced to disguise herself as a boy to survive in a strange and hostile land (namely Illyria which is at war with her home county, Messaline). She musters all her courage to hide her pain over the supposed death of her brother. But struggles are not over as she also has to hide her passionate love from Orsino, the Duke of Illyira whom she serves. Her Besides "Much ado about nothing", Twelfth Night is my favourite Shakespeare play. The major character is Viola, who after losing her twin brother, is forced to disguise herself as a boy to survive in a strange and hostile land (namely Illyria which is at war with her home county, Messaline). She musters all her courage to hide her pain over the supposed death of her brother. But struggles are not over as she also has to hide her passionate love from Orsino, the Duke of Illyira whom she serves. Her position is twofold difficult: she soon becomes Orsino's confident, they get really close to each other so she finds more and more difficult to hide her feelings from him; but to ease Orsino's sufferings, she undertakes to act as a "courier" for pursuing his hopeless love, the Countess Olivia. Then comes another Shakespearean turn of the screw: Olivia, who won't hear of Orsino's passion, falls for Cesario/Viola. In the meantime, Sebastian, thinking her beloved sister, Viola is dead, sets for Illyria as well ... As it is a comedy all things messed up will sort themselves out in the end, however, this is not a light comedy, the shadow of the tragic is hovering over the whole drama shaped in one of the subplots. The play seems to balance at the very narrow edge of tragedy and comedy all the time despite the many hilarious moments. Viola is without doubt one of the strongest and feistiest heroines you come to admire: an upright woman, who, despite the disguise she is forced to wear, is the most honest of all, especially compared to the characters of Orsino and Olivia, both of whom are deluding themselves by imaginary feelings. Via the twin + gender swap plots Shakespeare to introduce some more nuanced feelings of Olivia and Orsino. Self-indulgent and blind as they are, of course they remain blissfully unaware of the homoerotic attachment they have towards Viola: Olivia likes a girl who is dressed up as a boy, while throughout the play we can witness that Orsino is very much drawn to her thinking he is a boy (well, more fun for them and this gives their HEA some spice).

  30. 5 out of 5

    Piyangie

    I prefer Shakespeare comedies to his tragedies and Twelfth Night was the most loved of that genre as far as I remember. Having previously read when I was too young to appreciate Shakespearean work, I wanted to revisit this particular comedy that I remembered loving. The story contains separation of twins due to a shipwreck, mistaken identity, a cruel trick of heart played on a steward and a tangle love, all of which are nicely settled in the end. The characters are interesting and the play is fi I prefer Shakespeare comedies to his tragedies and Twelfth Night was the most loved of that genre as far as I remember. Having previously read when I was too young to appreciate Shakespearean work, I wanted to revisit this particular comedy that I remembered loving. The story contains separation of twins due to a shipwreck, mistaken identity, a cruel trick of heart played on a steward and a tangle love, all of which are nicely settled in the end. The characters are interesting and the play is filled with so much of humor. However, in all honesty, the reread did somewhat altered my opinion of the play. I did enjoy the play; I did like it too. But I couldn't love it. There is something vacant and superficial about it that I could not believe it is the same play I loved some long years back. This is why I fear to revisit the books I have loved as a child. Mature perception can destroy the innocent appreciation of a child!

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