18 In Act iv, scene ii, feste (The fool) plays both parts in the "play" for Malvolio's benefit, alternating between adopting the voice of the local curate, sir Topas, and his own voice. He finishes by likening himself to "the old Vice" of English good Morality plays. 19 Other influences of the English folk tradition can be seen in Feste's songs and dialogue, such as his final song in Act. 20 The last line of this song, "And we'll strive to please you every day is a direct echo of similar lines from several English folk plays. 21 Performance history edit during and just after Shakespeare's lifetime edit The earliest known performance took place at Middle temple hall, one of the Inns of court, on Candlemas night, 2 February 1602. The only record of the performance is an entry in the diary of the lawyer John Manningham, who wrote: At our feast we had a play called "Twelve night, or What you will much like " The comedy of Errors " or " Menaechmi ". A good practice in it to make the steward believe his lady-widow was in love with him, by counterfeiting a letter as from his lady, in general terms telling him what she liked best in him and prescribing his gesture in smiling, his apparel, etc.
As the very nature of Twelfth Night explores gender identity and sexual attraction, having a male actor play viola enhanced the impression of androgyny and sexual ambiguity. 14 Some modern scholars believe that Twelfth Night, with the added confusion of male actors and viola's deception, addresses gender issues "with particular immediacy." 15 They also accept that the depiction of gender in Twelfth Night stems from the era's prevalent scientific theory that females. 14 This belief explains the almost mattress indistinguishable differences between the sexes reflected in the casting and characters of Twelfth Night. Metatheatre edit At Olivia's first meeting with "Cesario" (Viola). V she asks her "Are you a comedian?" (an Elizabethan term for "actor. 16 viola's reply, "I am not that I play epitomising her adoption of the role of Cesario, is regarded as one of several references to theatricality and "playing" within the play. 17 The plot against Malvolio revolves around these ideas, and Fabian remarks in Act iii, scene iv: "If this were play'd upon a stage now, i could condemn it as an improbable fiction".
11 The play was probably finished between 16, a period suggested by the play's referencing of events which happened during that time. A law student, john Manningham, who was studying in the middle temple in London, described the performance on 2 February 1602 ( Candlemas ) which took place in the hall of the middle temple at the formal end of Christmastide in the year's calendar, and. 12 This was the first recorded performance of the play. The play was not published until its inclusion in the first Folio in 1623. Gender edit viola is not alone among Shakespeare's cross-dressing heroines; in Shakespeare's theatre, convention dictated that adolescent boys play the roles of female characters, creating humour in the multiplicity of disguise found in a female character who for a while pretended at masculinity. 11 Her cross dressing enables viola to fulfill usually male roles, such as acting as a messenger between Orsino and Olivia, as well as being Orsino's confidant. She does not, however, use her disguise to enable her to intervene directly in the plot (unlike other Shakespearean heroines such as Rosalind in As you like it and Portia in The merchant of Venice remaining someone who allows "Time" to untangle the plot. 13 viola's persistence in transvestism through her betrothal in the final scene of the play often engenders a discussion of the possibly homoerotic relationship between viola and Orsino.
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It has been noted that the play's setting also has other English allusions such as viola's use of "Westward ho! a typical cry of 16th century london boatmen, and also Antonio's recommendation to sebastian of "The Elephant" as where it is best to lodge in Illyria ( The Elephant was a pub not far from the Globe Theatre). 3 sources edit The play is believed to have drawn extensively on the Italian production Gl'ingannati (or The deceived Ones 4 collectively written by the Accademia degli Intronati in 1531. It is conjectured that the name of its male lead, Orsino, was suggested by virginio orsini, duke of Bracciano, an Italian nobleman who visited London in the winter of 1600 to 1601. 5 Another source story, "Of Apollonius and Silla appeared in Barnabe riche 's collection, riche his Farewell to militarie profession conteining verie pleasaunt discourses fit for a peaceable tyme (1581 which in turn is derived from a story by matteo bandello. 6 "Twelfth Night" is a reference to the twelfth night after Christmas day, called the eve of the feast of Epiphany. It was originally a catholic holiday and therefore, dod like other Christian feast days, an occasion for revelry.
Servants often dressed up as their masters, men as women and so forth. This history of festive ritual and Carnivalesque reversal, based on the ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia at the same time of year (characterized by drunken revelry and inversion of the social order; masters became slaves for a day, and vice versa is the cultural origin. The actual Elizabethan festival of Twelfth Night would involve the antics of a lord of Misrule, who before leaving his temporary position of authority, would call for entertainment, songs and mummery ; the play has been regarded as preserving this festive and traditional atmosphere. 7 This leads to the general inversion of the order of things, most notably gender roles. 8 The embittered and isolated Malvolio can be regarded as an adversary of festive enjoyment and community, 9 led by sir Toby belch, "the vice-regent spokesman for cakes and ale " and his partner in a comic stock duo, the simple and constantly exploited Sir. 10 Date and text edit The title page of Twelfth Night from the 1623 First Folio the full title of the play is Twelfth Night, or What you will. Subtitles for plays were fashionable in the Elizabethan era, and though some editors place The merchant of Venice ' s alternative title, the jew of Venice, as a subtitle, this is the only Shakespearean play to bear one when first published.
Feste visits him to mock his insanity, both disguised as a priest and as himself. Meanwhile, viola's twin, sebastian, has been rescued by Antonio, a sea captain who previously fought against Orsino, yet who accompanies Sebastian to Illyria, despite the danger, because of his affection for Sebastian. Sebastian's appearance adds the confusion of mistaken identities to the comedy. Taking Sebastian for 'cesario olivia asks him to marry her, and they are secretly married in a church. Finally, when 'cesario' and Sebastian appear in the presence of both Olivia and Orsino, there is more wonder and confusion at their physical similarity. At this point, viola reveals her identity and is reunited with her twin brother.
The play ends in a declaration of marriage between duke orsino and viola, and it is learned that Sir Toby has married Maria. Malvolio swears revenge on his tormentors and stalks off, but Orsino sends Fabian to placate him. Setting edit Illyria, the exotic setting of Twelfth Night, is important to the play's romantic atmosphere. Illyria was an ancient region of the western Balkans whose coast (the eastern coast of the Adriatic sea which is the only part of ancient Illyria which is relevant to the play) covered (from north to south) the coasts of modern-day slovenia, croatia, bosnia and. It included the city-state of the republic of Ragusa which has been proposed as the setting. 2 Illyria may have been suggested by the roman comedy menaechmi, the plot of which also involves twins who are mistaken for each other. Illyria is also referred to as a site of pirates in Shakespeare's earlier play, henry vi, part. The names of most of the characters are Italian but some of the comic characters have english names. Oddly, the "Illyrian" lady Olivia has an English uncle, sir Toby belch.
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Sir Toby, sir Andrew, and Maria plan revenge on Malvolio. They convince malvolio that Olivia is secretly in essay love with him by planting a love letter, written by maria in Olivia's handwriting. It asks Malvolio to wear yellow stockings cross-gartered, to be will rude to the rest of the servants, and to smile constantly in the presence of Olivia. Malvolio finds the letter and reacts in surprised delight. He starts acting out the contents of the letter to show Olivia his positive response. Olivia is shocked by the changes in Malvolio and agreeing that he seems mad, leaves him to be cared for by his tormentors. Pretending that Malvolio is insane, they lock him up in a dark chamber.
In the meantime, viola has fallen in love with the duke orsino, jungle creating a love triangle among duke orsino, olivia and viola: viola loves duke orsino, duke orsino loves Olivia, and Olivia loves viola disguised as Cesario. Sir Toby belch coming to the assistance of Sir Andrew Aguecheek, arthur boyd houghton,. In the comic subplot, several characters conspire to make olivia's pompous steward, malvolio, believe that Olivia has fallen for him. This involves Olivia's riotous uncle, sir Toby belch; another would-be suitor, a silly squire named Sir Andrew Aguecheek; her servants Maria and Fabian; and her melancholy fool, feste. Sir Toby and Sir Andrew engage themselves in drinking and revelry, thus disturbing the peace of Olivia's household until late into the night, prompting Malvolio to chastise them. Sir Toby famously retorts, " Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale? " (Act ii, scene iii).
in Olivia's household Maria olivia's gentlewoman Sir Toby belch Olivia's uncle sir Andrew Aguecheek friend of Sir Toby feste olivia's servant, a jester Fabian a servant in Olivia's household Antonio a sea captain and friend to sebastian Valentine and. She has lost contact with her twin brother, sebastian, who she believes to be drowned. With the aid of the captain, she disguises herself as a young man under the name cesario, and enters the service of duke orsino. Duke orsino has convinced himself that he is in love with Olivia, who is mourning the recent deaths of her father and brother. She refuses to see entertainments, be in the company of men, or accept love or marriage proposals from anyone, the duke included, until seven years have passed. Duke orsino then uses 'cesario' as an intermediary to profess his passionate love before Olivia. Olivia, however, falls in love with 'cesario setting her at odds with her professed duty.
Viola writing 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, 1 with plot elements drawn from the short story "Of Apollonius and Silla". Barnabe rich, based on a story. The first recorded performance was on 2 February 1602,. Candlemas, the formal end of, christmastide in the year's calendar.
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This article is writing about Shakespeare's play. For other uses, see. Malvolio courts a bemused, olivia, while, maria covers her amusement, in an engraving. Staines after a painting. Twelfth Night, or What you will notes 1 is a comedy by, william Shakespeare, believed to have been written around. Twelfth Night's entertainment for the close of the Christmas season. The play centres on the twins.