Twelfth Night
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Twelfth Night

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  88,232 ratings  ·  1,656 reviews
The Arden Shakespeare has long been acclaimed as the established scholarly edition of Shakespeare's work. Now being totally reedited for the third time, Arden editions offer the very best in contemporary scholarship. Each volume provides a clear and authoritative text, edited to the highest standards; detailed textual notes and commentary on the same page of the text; full...more
Paperback, 286 pages
Published February 1st 1998 by Arden Shakespeare (first published 1602)
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Madeline
I wish I could've seen what performances of this play were like in Shakespeare's time. Since women couldn't be on stage, men had to play the women's roles, which means that the guy playing Viola had to also dress up as a man while acting like a woman.
You have to wonder if the audience ever really knew what was going on. I'll bet you anything you like that some form of the following conversation took place in the Globe Theater at one point:
GROUNDLING 1: Wait, wasn't that guy playing a girl? Why'...more
Trevor
A few years ago I read a review of some film that had come out and I was sure I would never see – read the review almost carelessly while flicking through the arts section of the paper on a Saturday morning, no, I must have been clicking over The Age Home Page. The woman who wrote the review commented that whatever the film was had been based on Twelfth Night – which she considered that most ridiculous of Shakespeare’s plays – she really could not see how anyone could be bothered to reproduce th...more
Jason
You know what? I think this play is the Shakespearean equivalent of Three’s Company, a laugh-track comedy with goofball characters and preposterous situations that trigger a chain of events you can see coming a mile away. We’re talking here about a play in which a woman masquerades as a man (pretty much for the hell of it), deceiving everyone into believing she’s a dude without testes—because how else do you, in the absence of injectable testosterone products, convince people you’re a dude other...more
K.D. Absolutely
The title Ikalabindalawang Gabi or Twelfth Night means the last of the twelve days of Christmas that was traditionally falls on January 6th. During that day, based on English tradition, the social rules are lax as people are busy merry-making. The story in this well-loved Shakespeare is comedy with the protagonist Viola who survives a shipwreck and for her to be with her crush, has to pass up for a male soldier. The love story does not end there though. Viola's object of affection, the duke Orsi...more
David
For a long time I preferred Shakespeare's tragedies to his comedies, and to an extent I still do; but I have found a new appreciation of his comedies, particularly in Twelfth Night. Economical yet unforced, hilarious yet humane, confined yet infinite, clever yet accessible: such is Twelfth Night or What You Will. The play follows the shipwrecked twins, Viola (disguised as the boy Cesario) and Sebastian, in Illyria, where the hilarity of mistaken identity and unwanted love and unrequited love are...more
Lottie Panebianco
This play has a special place in my affection. I first got to know it when I was I think 11 and it was the school play. I loved it then and I love it now. Someone wrote somewhere that the entire story is "enthused with the spirit of love". Love is presented mostly as a form of madness and sickness but a sickness which we welcome. There is a close parallel between the plague (analogies and references to the plague run through the play). Hundreds of years later Thomas Mann wrote "Death in Venice"...more
De'Shawn
Jan 10, 2008 De'Shawn rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Shakespeare Lovers
Twelfth Night, a Romantic Comedy that was written by the late William Shakespeare has to be one of his best works. This romantic Comedy deals and relates to real life events, as people in life hides there identities so that others won't know there true inner self. For example, Viola played a character in the name of Cesario in Twelfth Night. She had true feelings for one Orsino but couldn't express her feelings because of her disguise being a man. Her disguise instead was to help Olivia hook up...more
Kelly
The only reason this gets four and not five stars is that we're rating on the scale of Shakespeare to Shakespeare, and I think that there is some awkwardness in this one in terms of the conclusion; where everyone goes and how they get to it. There are also some very thin plot devices that annoy me.

However, that being said, I love this play. I played Mariah in it in high school, and it was one of the most fun things I've been in. It can be played for laughs, or for the dark side. The movie versio...more
Janelle Fernandez
The book Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare was an interesting book. It was a very funny play that will show everyone that love is crazy. I enjoyed reading this play because not only was all of the characters confused in the play they were in love. Twelfth Night being the night of fun and disguses makes this book interesting. This is beacause Shakespeare made love seem hard to get. When in reality love is really hard to get. Malvolio was a great character because people tend to be like him. Ev...more
Alan
Here Shakespeare borrows as so often in his comedies, from Plautus for the overarching plot--the separated siblings, the twinning (recall his Errors, and the Menaechmi), the arrival from sea. But he adds so much as to make it unrecognizable as a Roman comedy. He adds an attractive drunk, Sir Toby, who fleeces a silly aristocrat who--perhaps alone in literature-- knows himself to be silly. He adds, for instance, a parody of Renaissance psychiatry (well, more theology, but since "psyche" in Greek...more
Ellie
All right: opening confession. I adore Shakespeare. Especially when performed but also read. Love the wit. Love the language. Love the stories.

2nd confession: Being who I am, I prefer the tragedies. Especially Lear. Then Macbeth-what a wife. Then Hamlet for the viewing of terminal ratiocination. Tragedy to the point of humor. And then Othello for a good old love story without trust ain't that just like a man + great poetry.

Love the histories. Even (tho not as much as others) King John (partly I'...more
Christina Benjamin
Twelfth Night is a play that involves many interesting characters and quandaries. One quandary that that appears several times through out this play is that people are oblivious to the fact that a person is truly in love with them. Viola is a woman that is mourning the death of her brother and in this situation she comes up with a plan to live as a man to be somewhat invisible to others. While she is living as a man she begins to work as a messenger for a count named Orsino. Orsino is trying to...more
TeacherMrLoria
True story – I was finishing As You Like It in a park today and these two prostitutes approached me to offer their services. I smiled and said no thank you, and as they walked away one said to the other “did you notice he was reading Shakespeare? Ayyyye.” And there you have it, Shakespeare gets respect even from Mexican prostitutes.
About the play – I am a bit confused. This has to be Shakespeare´s most homoerotic play by a long shot. Women fall in love with women, men fall in love with boys, f...more
R.S.
TWELFTH NIGHT OR WHAT YOU WILL
_________________________
Written round about the year 1601,Twelfth Night is the Twelfth Night Christmas, i.e., january 6th.

In the romantic atmosphere of Twelfth Night, we feel as if we were transported to a world of make-believe and far away from the accepted standards of ordinary life. The time of the action of Twelfth Night is 3 days.The main-plot starts with the arrival of the shipwrecked brother and sister, Sebastian and Viola,on the shores of Illyria. Neither o...more
Fari
Jun 14, 2013 Fari rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Fari by: School Read
Shelves: r
Before Reading

We're going to read this for English class.

I'm actually really excited for this because the movie, She's the Man, is based off of this and I love that movie and I'm just really excited which is weird but yeah.

After Reading

3.5 Stars

I’m not a big fan of Shakespeare. I don’t like him very much.

*hides from literature enthusiasts*

Okay, that was a lie. Let me be more specific.

I hate reading Shakespeare.

He writes plays! Plays are supposed to be seen, not read. I mean, it’s great if you...more
Kirstine
This has so many things that make my feet crumble; mistaken identities, mocking of innocent (although obnoxious) subjects, trickery and wrong assumptions.

I'm no good with comedies.

I love to watch them when I go to the theatre, but beside that? No. I get so stressed out about it. JUST GET TOGETHER ALREADY, TURKEY-COCKS (actual insult from the play. I love you, William).

This play is funny, though, it has some excellent lines ("Contemplation makes a rare turkey-cock of him" or "My purpose is, inde...more
Eric Kibler
I reread the play as I'll be appearing in it this summer as Sir Toby Belch. Ah, what fun!

Shakespeare fact: most directors these days cut Shakespeare's plays down to a reasonable two hours for performance. That will be the case for the production I'm in. I'll miss the double-talk conversations between Sir Toby and the Clown, and some of the "mistaken identity" humor involving male/female twins Sebastian and Viola. Although I can see why the director removed this stuff. In the former case, the inv...more
Charles
I played Sir Toby Belch. We did it in the round in a room with a very low ceiling. I had a sword fight with a very kinetic young actor. I insisted we rehearse the fight every night before the show. I was worried about the ceiling, and my young actor's carless enthusiasm. We went through the choreographed moves when suddenly instead of stepping back he stepped forward and the point of my rapier went into his eye socket. The point was blunted and thankfully went between the flesh and the eye. One...more
Alieus Wilson
So far this book is starting to get very interesting and somewhat funny. This play is good and relating to everyday life. I feel that this play is very similar to high school because of the the way people act in the book and towards others and its the same way in school. I really like the part when Olivia showed Viola/ Cesario her true feelings and he rejected her and she acted like didn't like him. Even though the book ended a little strange, it was still a great book and i enjoyed it a lot. I...more
Michelle
Great until the ending, which went down something like this. Orsino: Well, you've been lying and pretending to be a guy, but you said once you love me more than any girl, so I guess I'll marry you even though I've been in love with someone else for years up until now. Viola: Oh good, I'll go put on a dress. Olivia: I totally fell hard for your sister, but you look just like her so I guess I'll make do since we're already married. Sebastian: That was easy!
Marta Boksenbaum
Reading this play aloud with friends was some of the best fun I've had. Shakespeare's plays are truly meant to be acted out- and this one is hilarious. It is actually funnier when read aloud as many of the jokes are more understandable when you see it on the page. I highly suggest this play as a delightfully dorky time with friends.
Emily Olson
3.7/5 stars for me! As the third star suggests, "I liked it." I'm not a huge Shakespeare fan as, of course, it is hard to read and fully comprehend his meanings. Do keep in mind that I am only 17 years old. ;)

However, this is definitely one of my favorite works by Shakespeare as it was a very humorous play. Of course, I was able to read it with the background knowledge of watching "She's The Man" with Amanda Bynes, which helped a lot when trying to keep characters straight.

If anyone hasn't read...more
Joe Valdez
Apr 10, 2014 Joe Valdez rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Castaways, impersonators, pranksters
Shelves: plays
My game plan for revisiting Shakespeare was to stream video of a staging of the play, listening and watching while reading along to as much of the original text as was incorporated by the staging. Later, I read the entire play in the modern English version.

The staging I found on YouTube was amazing. ITV Saturday Night Theatre: Twelfth Night aired January 6, 1969. It features Alec Guinness as Malvolio, Ralph Richardson as Sir Toby Belch, Joan Plowright as Viola/ Sebastian and Adrienne Corri as Ol...more
Gill
Humor is the hardest thing to understand in a foreign language coming from a foreign culture. Shakespeare's language and times are foreign to us now although related to us. As a result it is much harder to read the comedies than it is to read the tragedies or the poetry. We don't get the jokes and have to rely much more on the notes in a good edition to explain them to us.

That said, when you see the play staged, the acting makes some of the humor come alive even where the specific word play is m...more
Nina
This one left me with a hugh smile on my face. Absolutely loved this play, and it did a lot to make Shakespeare seem less "frightening", if you know what I mean. Shakespeare is the king of literature and his importance cannot be denied, but sometimes that means that Shakespeare is put on a pedestal and the reader, the mortal being, must admire him or be branded as an ignorant fool. And there is a certain pressure comes with that, I think.

But this play is simply so funny and grotesque and moving...more
Tatiana
Read for my Brit. Lit. 224 course. After weeks quite literally in the Dark Ages, a Shakespeare comedy was a breath of much-needed lightness. Twelfth Night, or What You Will is about forbidden love and reckless love and love deceived. Also, mistaken identity, cross dressing, and gender struggle. And all of it is explored to hilarious end through schemes and shenanigans. (Yellow, cross-garted stockings will from now on elicit giggles from me.)

The plot can be summed up as: Orsino loves Olivia, Mal...more
Angeli
It's the first time I've read Twelfth Night and I'm really sure I know the names of the characters in it. And then I discovered I was right, SHE'S THE MAN.

I liked it. Although of course, I like the recent equivalent better, because I love Amanda Bynes or loved Amanda Bynes. I don't know where she is right now.

The time I read the names VIOLA, DUKE ORSINO, and OLIVIA, I knew right then and there where I heard those names from.

It's really interesting how they were portrayed in the original, althoug...more
Kalah W
Twelfth Night by Williams Shakespeare was a great play to read. At times the play would get a bit confusing when it came to who was in love with whom, and what action was being done by which character because there was so much role playing with in the play. I feel as though Shakespeare did a great job with displaying the deceptive traits of every character and always finding a way to place another twist into the play,especially when Viola's secrete is discovered along with a surprise at the end...more
Rowland Bismark
Shakespeare wrote Twelfth Night near the middle of his career, probably in the year 1601. Most critics consider it one of his greatest comedies, along with plays such as As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Twelfth Night is about illusion, deception, disguises, madness, and the extraordinary things that love will cause us to do—and to see.

Twelfth Night is the only one of Shakespeare’s plays to have an alternative title: the play is actually called Twelfth Night,...more
Corinne
Knowing nothing about this play when I began, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the plot: shipwrecks, hidden identities, separated twins, love triangles (of course). Not to MENTION the yellow stockings, which had me laughing out loud. It's most certainly a comedy and, with other Shakespeare comedies, I must insist that whomever attempts it for the first time (if you are unfamiliar with Shakespeare) that they read the text along with a production. The comedic elements, especially,...more
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William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been tr...more
More about William Shakespeare...
Romeo and Juliet Hamlet Macbeth A Midsummer Night's Dream Othello

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“Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.” 12413 likes
“If music be the food of love, play on,
Give me excess of it; that surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.”
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