Twelfth Night

Topics: Twelfth Night, Love, William Shakespeare Pages: 8 (2116 words) Published: December 19, 2013
Paviell Reese
Major Works Data Sheet
Title: Twelfth Night
Author: William Shakespeare
Date of Publication: 1602
Genre: Shakespearean Comedy
Biographical information about the author:
William Shakespeare, born in 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England, was an English poet and playwright. Shakespeare was believed to have been educated at the King’s New School in Stratford about a quarter-mile from his home. At the age of 18, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway. The ceremony may have been arranged in some haste because six months after the marriage Anne gave birth to a daughter named Susanna. About two years later they had twins, a boy and a girl, and the boy died of unknown causes at the age of 11. It is not known when Shakespeare started writing but several of his plays were on the London stage by 1592. Shakespeare divided his time between London and Stratford during this time of his career. In 1599 he moved to Southwark while his company constructed the Global Theatre there. After 1610, Shakespeare wrote very few okays before his death on April 23, 1616. Historical information about the period of publication:

Queen Elizabeth was in rein during this time period from 1559-1603. She was very fond of Shakespeare and loved his works. The inspiration of the play Twelfth Night was more than likely influenced by the queen wanting a play related to the holiday season. Twelfth Night is a Christian holiday that takes place on the 12th day after Christmas. On this day the roles in society are flipped. Kings and queens dress up as peasants and men and women dress up as each other. At the beginning of the Twelfth Night festival a cake that contains a bean is eaten. The person who finds the bean would be the ruler of the feast. Midnight marks the end of their rule and everything goes back to normal. Characteristics of the genre:

A Shakespearean Comedy normally has a happy ending that involves marriages between the unmarried characters. There tends to be a greater emphasis on situations than characters; there is almost always a clever servant; multiple, intertwining plots; and the main issue in Twelfth Night, deception among characters. Plot Summary:​

After a huge storm at sea, a young woman named Viola finds herself washed up on a shore with the ship’s captain. Here she grieves the loss of her twin brother Sebastian who she believes died in the storm. The Captain informs her that they are in Illyria and he helps Viola disguise herself so that she may go to a man named Duke Orsino and become his servant. During this 3 month period Viola, now known as Cesario, has to persuade Lady Olivia, the woman Duke Orsino is in love with, to marry him or at least take some interest. Olivia is also grieving her brother’s death and does not want to see any man that Orsino sends to her. However, she takes a liking to Cesario and falls in love with him. Unfortunately, Cesario (Viola) is now in love with Orsino, who loves Olivia, who loves Cesario. A crazy love triangle. Meanwhile, we meet other people in Olivia’s court such as her uncle Sir Toby Belch; the maid Maria; Toby’s friend Sir Andrew Aguecheek who is trying to court Olivia; Feste, Olivia’s fool; and Malvolio, the arrogant and self-centered steward of Olivia’s household. Since Malvolio likes to ruin the other’s fun, Maria forges a letter, supposedly from Olivia, to make Malvolio think Olivia is in love with him. Malvolio finds this letter, thinking it is for him, and, wanting to marry Olivia, follows its commands of dressing in yellow stocking, cross-gartering, to smile constantly, and to not explain his actions to no one. Once Olivia sees him behaving so strangely she thinks that he has gone mad. Meanwhile, Sebastian, who we find to still be alive but believes his sister Viola to be dead, arrives in Illyria along with his friend Antonio. Antonio has been taking care for Sebastian since the shipwreck and is passionately (and some think sexually) attached to Sebastian; so much so...
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