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Analysis of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night

Analysis of the structure, plot and characterizations of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night; likewise presents the historical and literary sources through which Shakespeare derive ideas and inspiration in creating this piece.

language english
wordcount 13693 (cca 39 pages)
contextual quality N/A
language level N/A
price free
sources 18
Table of contents

Introduction 1
Origin and Sources of the Play 2
Analysis of the Roles, Plot and Structure of the Play 3
Actions and Movements in the Play 4
Theme and Motifs in the Play 25
References 32

Preview of the essay: Analysis of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night

ANALYSIS OF SHAKESPEARE’S Twelfth Night Introduction It is next to impossible not to mention the name of William Shakespeare in the annals of literary history. His early plays and sonnets show the harmony, balance and idealized love of life of the Renaissance. In the nineteenth century, Shakespeare was idealized as the “Great Romantic.” Perhaps, William Shakespeare is the most documented English writer. This is but expected because his contribution to the world literatures is remarkable and unsurpassed by any other English writers. His successors paid tribute to his greatness, admired his unparalleled artistry, recognized his genius and imitated his style and finesse. Twelfth Night is the last of a series of romantic comedies by William Shakespeare that ended about the time the dramatist began his great tragedies. The work was not published until the First Folio of 1623. This text is a good one, although it bears marks of revision after original composition. Though the play was not mentioned in Francis Mere’s list of Shakespeare’s plays (1598), it is unmistakably alluded to in the diary of a barrister, John Manningham, who saw a production of it at the Middle Temple on February 02, 1607. ...

... with the revelers hiding in the tree, Malvolio’s appearance with Olivia in yellow stockings and cross-garters, the mock duel between Sir Andrew Aguecheek and Viola-Cesario, and Malvolio in the dark house---five of Shakespeare’s most uproarious and richly comic scenes, and all quite different from one another. All are broader than the love scenes, yet they are not farce. The whole is a true comedy: the audience is entertained, laughs a lot, and goes home feeling good about itself. And what people recall is their delight in the theatre and, perhaps unconsciously, the dangers of personal delusion.

The director should also remember that the play was created as an entertainment for Christmas time. There are hosts of references to seasonal folklore, games and rituals. Yet, paradoxically, the atmosphere is not chilly and cold, like an English winter. Twelfth Night conveys a sunny and radiant feeling as if Shakespeare’s Christmas celebrations were meant to recall the happy days of summer.
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Humanistic Studies


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