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Twelfth Night

by William Shakespeare

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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8,42196659 (3.97)1 / 302
"Twelfth night is a riotous comedy of hopelessly unrequited passions and mistaken identity. Duke Orsino is in love with the noblewoman Olivia. She, however, has fallen for his servant Cesario, who is actually Viola, a woman disguised as a man, who loves Orsino: confusion is rife. Meanwhile, Olivia's arrogant steward Malvolio is cruelly tricked by her uncle Sir Toby Belch, his friend Sir Andrew Aguecheek and the maidservant Maria into believing his mistress loves him"--Container.… (more)



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English (86)  Swedish (1)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  All languages (90)
Showing 1-5 of 86 (next | show all)
Twelfth Night, nowadays one of Shakespeare's best-loved and most-admired comedies, was not always so regarded: Samuel Pepys saw the play three times in the 1660s and judged it 'silly'. Modern audiences, critics, and directors seem better attuned to its delicate counter pointing of romance and realism, to its ambivalent ending, and to the poetic suggestiveness of Feste's songs.

With this in mind, sit back and enjoy this lively performance, featuring the voices of such esteemed Shakespearean actors as Stella Gonet (Viola) and Gerard Murphy (Sir Toby Belch), accompanied by a full cast. ( )
  Gmomaj | Jul 9, 2020 |
FYI, I only read the play which is why my version had 189 pages. I pretty much always ignore the afterwords or commentary on Shakespeare.

That's done, now let's get into it.

This so far next to Macbeth, Othello and Romeo and Juliet, is one of my favorite plays. It is definitely my favorite of the comedies I have read so far, I don't care what anyone says, The Taming of the Shrew is just a long play about how to treat a woman horribly and have her turn into a Stepford Wife. I hate it.

Back to Twelfth Night. This play was hilarious. We follow a diverse cast who are all confused at who is who and in the end people get married because they think that the person that they initially wanted is not the person that they can actually be with it, so you know, substitutions.

The play follows a brother and sister (Viola and Sebastian) who are shipwrecked and believe that the other has perished. Both wash up on the shores of Illyria.

Viola in order to make her way in the world disguises herself as a man since she cannot find any other work and calls herself Cesario and works for Duke Orsino.

Duke Orsino is pining (and seriously I usually scoff at that word but it is apt here) for Olivia. Viola as Cesario goes to deliver messages to Olivia from Orsino (are you still following me?) and then we have Olivia falling for Viola as Cesario.

Olivia refuses to be wooed by anyone since she is still mourning her father and brother who have died. And honestly I was a little perplexed by her mourning since she seemed to be fine with the dead brother thing when she laid eyes on Viola/Cesario.

Along with that we have Sebastian who is making his way around Illryia. He is rescued by Antonio who let's just call it out, is in love with him. I read this play people, this is not platonic love at all. Antonio adores Sebastian and hates that he is off to do his own thing without him.

Maria who works for Olivia (and btw is a jerk) decides with Feste (who is a Fool in name only) decides to play a joke on Malvolio (who works for Olivia as her steward) make him think that Olivia is secretly in love with him. Poor Malvolio.

Along with all of that we have Violia/Cesario still in love with Orsino but realizing that Olivia is in love with her and trying to get away from her and then getting challenged to a duel.

Eventually Antonio lays eyes on Viola/Cesario and takes her for Sebastian (did I forget to mention that Viola and Sebastian are twins?) and is angry that Viola/Cesario claims to not know him. And poor Antonio for his trouble is dragged off into the night. No it's not technically night, I just like saying it.

Olivia mistaken Sebastian for Viola/Cesario asks him to marry her. And Sebastian not knowing this woman at all but is like hey you're rich and pretty, sure let's do this and they secretly get engaged. With Olivia still thinking that this is Cesario.

Eventually Viola/Cesario and Orsino go to Olivia's and she greets Viola/Cesario as her husband (ie fiancee). Of course this leads to Orsino feeling betrayed and everyone yelling before Sebastian reveals himself and then Viola/Cesario reveals herself as a woman. After that Orsino decides if I can't have Olivia I am just going to marry Viola and Olivia is happy to get Sebastian who looks like Viola/Cesario who she was in love with.

This is such a weird play.

Oh and poor Malvolio is eventually locked up because Olivia assumed he was crazy and then locked into a room being messed with by Maria and the Fool. He is eventually let out but is angry (yeah I would be too).

Somewhere in here we had two couples marrying and another marriage of Maria with another character and Antonio left out int he cold. Poor Antonio.

There are a ton of more things done in confusion of who did what to who and why but seriously I would be here all day. I can say that this definitely one play that I want to see in person someday. I think it would be hilarious. Someone mentioned this being a movie, and I am going to see if it's available on Netlfix. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
  kristi_test_02 | Jun 16, 2020 |

We went to see a Cambridge University production of this last night, set in a similar period to the production we saw of As You Like It we saw earlier this year.

Zak Ghazi-Torbatt was hilarious as the perpetually drunk aristocrat Sir Toby Belch (subtlety is not the long suit of this play), he worked well with his off-sider, Sir Aguecheek, ably played by Ryan Monk. Ben Walsh’s Malvolio was a object lesson in how to not overplay comic creepiness. Megan Gilbert looked like an old hand doing Maria: it’s the best of the female roles and she didn’t let it down.

The setting was not, in my opinion, important to the play, neither detracting nor adding, but fifties music and song – If music be the food of love, play on – worked a treat. However, the director decided, in that modern way that is being forced upon us, to do her part in denying gender. To this end two changes were made to the play. One is the role of Antonio, changed to Antonia and played by a girl being a girl. This was not only inexplicable in terms of the desire to mess around with gender – after all, Antonio is a boy in love with a boy – but makes the relationship with Sebastian ridiculous. There can be no explanation, of course, as to why Sebastian can’t accept the love of Antonia. Nor, in a play with a happily-ever-after ending is it sensical to have this one person inexplicably left bereft. Needless to say, if it is a male character in love with a heterosexual male, we at least understand why Antonio can’t be part of the happy ending. I do wish that we had not been denied the chance to watch that doomed love, instead of which we bemusedly watched a girl carting around a bloke’s suitcases for three months wondering who she was going to end up with.

Rest here:

https://alittleteaalittlechat.wordpress.com/2015/12/09/twelfth-night-by-william-... ( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
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» Add other authors (139 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Shakespeare, Williamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Andrews, John F.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Auld, WilliamTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Barnet, SylvanEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dobson, MichaelEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Duff, Anne-MarieNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Elam, KeirEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Furness, Horace HowardEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Günther, FrankTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harrison, G. B.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holden, William P.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Honigmann, E. A. J.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hudson, Henry N.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hulme, A. M.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Innes, Arthur D.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kittredge, George LymanEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Komrij, GerritTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maloney, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McCowen, AlecForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mowat, Barbara A.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rasmussen, EricEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rolfe, William JamesEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schlegel, August Wilhelm vonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Simon, JosetteNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Werstine, PaulEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wood, StanleyEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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First words
If music be the food of love, play on,

Give me excess of it; that, surfeiting,

The appetite may sicken, and so die.
Feste the Clown: Come away, come away, death,
And in sad cypress let me be laid;
Fly away, fl y away, breath;
I am slain by a fair cruel maid.
My shroud of white, stuck all with yew,
O, prepare it!
My part of death, no one so true
Did share it.
If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.

That strain again! it had a dying fall:
O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet sound
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odour!
what says Quinapalus?
“Better a witty fool, than a foolish wit.”
If this were played upon a stage now, I could condemn it as an improbable fiction.
Be not afraid of greatness: some men are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.
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Disambiguation notice
This work is for the complete Twelfth Night only. Do not combine this work with abridgements, adaptations or "simplifications" (such as "Shakespeare Made Easy"), Cliffs Notes or similar study guides, or anything else that does not contain the full text. Do not include any video recordings. Additionally, do not combine this with other plays.
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Book description
Viola is shipwrecked and dons male clothing to get a job. Cesario (Viola) is sent by Duke Orsino to woo for him the Lady Olivia; Olivia, however, is more interested, and falls in love with Cesario (Viola). (Subplot: Olivia's uncle Toby Belch and cohorts scheme to trick Malvolio into thinking that Olivia favors him.) Meanwhile, Viola's twin brother, thought to be lost at sea, emerges and is swept into marriage with Olivia — and the masquerade is over, to most people's advantage.
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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140714898, 0141014709

Yale University Press

An edition of this book was published by Yale University Press.

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Recorded Books

2 editions of this book were published by Recorded Books.

Editions: 1456100033, 1449889646

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