Twelfth Night As A Festive And Romantic Comedy
Comedies treat usually the joyful aspects of human life. Shakespeare’s comic works deal with love’s lighter side and often marriages. Twelfth Night is a very unlikely comedy written by Shakespeare because many of its characters seem out of place and the comedy seems to be coming out of this very fact itself. While focusing upon serious issue like construction of gender roles, the play is outrightly a festive and romantic comedy.
Twelfth Night’s title reminds us of the Christian festival which in earlier times was celebrated for twelve days with great merrymaking. The play doesn’t make any literal use of its title but the festivity and romance are two major aspects of its comedy.
The play becomes a festive comedy through its comic subplot which depends upon the comic behaviour of characters which are less elevated. Sir Toby and Sir Andrew have self-mocking behaviours. They make fun of seriousness. They along with Maria and Feste make a fool out of self-deceiving Malvolio. Every time they fight between themselves, in the end, one of them says that let’s have a drink. Their attitude towards life is of a careless celebration. They take revenge against Malvolio because he restricts their festive mode with his pretentious seriousness. Sir Toby to mock his seriousness says that “dost thou think because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?” It finally states the nature of comedy as festive.
Twelfth Night begins with Orsino commenting about falling in love. The whole play revolves around its result in such a way that it also tells us about the conventions of Elizabethan age and its comic pretention which Shakespeare has captured. The courts of Elizabethan age separated sex and love further and the tradition of courtly love developed. This play reveals the foolish pretention of such courtly love which makes it a romantic comedy. Orsino from the very beginning foolishly idealises Olivia. He does it more out of convention and less out of real devotion. Even though Orsino and Olivia are characters not meant to be taken seriously, yet the play ends happily when Orsino takes Viola and Olivia goes with Sebastian. That’s why it is a romantic comedy.
Everyone who claims in the play of love is a light character. Viola doesn’t even know the Duke when she believes that she has fallen in love with him. She says instantly that “whoever I woo, myself would be his wife.” It’s comic the way they fall in love. Olivia kept saying that she can’t enjoy love while she is mourning her brother’s death but the moment she sees Cesario, unable to know that it is not even a man but a woman, she says that “even so quickly may one catch the plague?”. Yet she falls in love. Twelfth Night as a romantic comedy shows us the foolishness of falling in love for the sake of love.
Today, our society is accustomed to vast changes in perspective of sexuality and new challenges of sexual norms. It appears these perspectives are new, but these changing perspectives can be traced back to the Middle Ages. These topics are illustrated through many works of literature. Two texts that best exemplify topics of sexual politics are Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Both works were transformative of perspectives on these topics in their respective publication periods. Their...
The word appropriation means moving a text from one context to another, but keeping particular elements like the setting and character similar. An example of appropriation from both the film and the play is the quote ‘some are born great, some achieve greatness’ this quote is said in both the film and the play and it’s just one of the many similarities between ‘Twelfth Night’ and ‘She’s the Man’. A writer might choose to appropriate a text because it can...
Disguise has played a major role in society and England during the sixteenth and seventeenth century. The role of disguise was an extremely important concept in Shakespearean theatre, as it is used in to conceal the identity of one or more characters from other person in the play (Kreider 168). Often disguise within Shakespearean plays either exceeded the “boundary of any unitary image of subjectivity or resists what verisimilar role construction, emplotment of desire, and passion in relationships” (Weimann 798)....
Throughout William Shakespeare’s time during the Elizabethan Era in the late 1500s, societal standards and gender roles were not like how they are in most of the world today. Women in the Elizabethan Era were raised to believe that they were inferior to men. The Church enforced this, quoting from the bible to ensure that this principle was widely followed. Women were to obey not only their parents but any other male relatives of their family. Disobedience was seen as...
In the play Twelfth Night, or What you will, written by William Shakespeare in (1601), the main theme of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night play is mainly about love. Shakespeare describes three types of emotions of love in his play which are; ture love, self love and friendship. Viola’s love for Osorio is the first example Shakespeares describes as a true love although she is pretending to be a man and is virtually unknown in Illyria, she hopes to win the Duke’s...
This essay will discuss the theme of relationships reflected in the characters of Viola and Duke Orsino in the film Twelfth Night and She’s The Man. Both depict a love triangle where the female lead fallsin love with the main male character,who is in love with someone else.In She’s the Man, Viola, who pretends to be Sebastian, falls in love with Duke who is in love with Olivia. The irony is that Duke uses Viola to send his love messages...
Introduction Appearing in many of Shakespeare’s plays, the clown or fool figure is one of the most intriguing stage characters in the Shakespearean oeuvre and continues to capture the interest of modern-day critics and contemporary audiences. Although unique to each play, the character of the Shakespearean fool can generally be divided into two categories: the clown and the jester. The term ‘clown’ didn’t emerge until the sixteenth century, and it was formerly intended to designate an ignorant and fairly uneducated...
Shakespeare endeavors to make a dreary distress inside twelfth night, accentuating the torment got by the detested characters, while additionally including a detailed storyline that finishes in the traditional Elizabethan manner; marriage. Be that as it may, Trevor Nunn, with the additional component of visuals, weakens the play’s content by utilizing stage activities and camera developments. In Nunn’s 1996 adjustment of twelfth night, the adventure to rejoin couples is made more comedic and pleasant, as opposed to discouraging. This is...
In Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, King Lear, and Hamlet, there is a theme of loyalty between a central character and another. This loyalty transcends what the other characters belief; they help them no matter the burden it bears on them. It also reveals itself in many different forms, through love, service, and friendship. As seen throughout countless Shakespeare plays, women are typically depicted as disloyal, but characters such as Viola and Cordelia stick out amongst the rest because of the loyalty...
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