When selecting a good piece of literature one must attempt to appeal t
"Has been a lifesaver so many times!"
- Catherine Rampell, student @ University of Washington
"Exactly the help I needed."
- Jennifer Hawes, student @ San Jose State
"The best place for brainstorming ideas."
- Michael Majchrowicz, student @ University of Kentucky
When selecting a good piece of literature one must attempt to appeal to a wide variety of tastes. William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night is often used to introduce students to literacy style that carries back as far as the seventeenth century. There is one main plot that consists of a love triangle between Orsino, Olivia and Viola. Orsino falls in love with Olivia, who in return has feelings for Ceserio. Ceserio is really Viola who changed her identity to a male to be able to work in Orsino's court. Viola begins to fall in love with Orsino while she is reorganized as his servant. Obviously this creates considerable confusion in the plot composed by other charters. William Shakespeare's Twelfth Nightproves to be a phenomenal play to introduce students to a Shakespearean style of writing because it is comical, the vocabulary is not too difficult and the main plot is fairly consistent.
Even though one might not find the wit and foolish conduct of many characters in Twelfth Night comical, it does however appeal to readers who enjoy rather simple comic relief. Comedy in a play also keeps interrset and the play inspiring, which is an important factor among young readers. In Twelfth Night Sir Toby's actions, Feste's wit and Olivia's love for Viola all add humour to the play. Sir Toby takes the seriousness out of the play with his laughter and drunkenness. Feste's wit also adds to the play when he portrays Olivia as a fool for mourning her brothers death. Feste asks "Good madonna, why mourninst thore?" (1.5.64). Olivia answers "Good fool, for my brothers death. / I know his soul is in heaven, fool." (1.5.65,67). Feste reply's "The more fool, madonna, to mourn for your / brother's soul, being in heaven. Take away the fool, gentleman." (1.5.68-70). When Viola becomes aware of Olivia's love for her, an unexpected turn takes place in act 2 when Viola's twin brother Sebastian comes to Orsino's court which boosts the confusion. These are only three of many examples of the witty humour that take place in Twelfth Night.
Another significant point which proves that Twelfth Night is a good play to introduce students to Shakespeare's writing is that the vocabulary is not overly complex. Even though one might think that the vocabulary from Shakespeare's time might be strenuous and difficult to understand. The complicated words are located in the margin with an understandable definition for the reader to look up. This is the case in (3.1.150) when the word maugre is used, the meaning "despite" is located along the left margin. One might also find the meaning of a word by reading the context that it is used in. An example of this is in (2.5.114) "And with a green and yellow melancholy." When reading this sentence one might understand that the word melancholy means pale and sick, by using the words green and yellow to justify the meaning of melancholy. Therefore it is safe to conclude that the vocabulary in Twelfth Night is not too complex because the word is commonly defined in the margin or within the sentence that it is used in.
Although there are many sub plots in Twelfth Night that may create chaos and some confusion there is really only one main plot revolving around a love triangle between Viola, Olivia and Orsino. Viola who changes her identity to a male known as Ceserio to be able to work in the Orsino's court begins to fall in love with Orsino. This takes place in (2.4.108-110) where Viola practically admits her love for Orsino "My father had a daughter lov'd a man- / As it might be, perhaps, were I a woman, / I should your lordship.". Olivia who is convinced that Viola is a male, falls in love with Ceserio when meeting him/her in (3.1.91-163) and declares her love for him. This situation becomes strenuous for Viola to keep her act together as being Ceserio. Orsino who is love stricken by Olivia's presence in (1.1.19-25) "O, when my eyes did see Olivia first, / Methought she purg'd the air of pestilence; / That instant was I turn'd into a hart, / And my desires, like fell and cruel hounds, / E'er since pursue me.". Consequently the small sub plots that consist of
View Full Essay
Theatre, Twelfth Night, Fiction, Cross-dressing in literature, Olivia, Feste, Viola, Sebastian, Orsino, Malvolio, William Shakespeare, Music Is
More Free Essays Like This