“The play ‘Twelfth Night’ delights in chaos and confusion” To what extent do you agree with this statement?
The plotline in many of Shakespeare’s comedies are often considered complicated and confusing. The plots of these plays usually follow a general structure where a comedy contains five acts and where the climax of the play is found in the third. This is where where a big event in the play is carried out to mark this event. This confusion is usually resolved in the last act, followed by the ending of the play. The play ‘Twelfth Night’ (TN) is no exception, as during the third act an elaborate plot unravels, where a fight scene between many of the characters plays out, which is only properly resolved in the last act. Not only do the characters acknowledge the ‘chaos’ and ‘confusion’, they also gain pleasure and pain from it. The play’s elaborate plot line that ‘delights in chaos and confusion’ bewilders the audience which engages them in the play more to make the experience and plot more interesting. However, one may also argue that there are other aspects of comedy one can focus on instead of the “chaos” and “confusion”, whereby the focus is less on the confusion, and more on the more straightforward plot aspects and the jokes that come with a comedy. However, this does not necessarily mean that the “chaos” and “confusion” are not clearly evident within the play.
The characters in TN acknowledge this chaos, and we can see this when the characters themselves point out how improbable the overly-complicated plot is. For example, in Act III scene IV, Fabian states: “If this were played upon a stage now, I could condemn it as an improbable fiction”. Aside from the irony as Fabian is a character himself, he states this to point out how chaotic the plot can be, calling the events carried out as an “improbable fiction” (which the play in-fact is). Olivia also implies this point, stating that the strange actions of the confused Malvolio is like “midsummer...
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