Not my favorite of Shakespeare's plays (I often debate if I like Much Ado About Nothing more than Hamlet), Twelfth Night is certainly an interesting p...moreNot my favorite of Shakespeare's plays (I often debate if I like Much Ado About Nothing more than Hamlet), Twelfth Night is certainly an interesting play that is, in contrast to my expectations, much more about the comedic situations going on than the romantic triangles, squares, and whateverhaslike5sides within the play. It is, however, a play that does question gender roles, social roles, and sexuality in a way that makes me want to research the crap out of it.
You are no longer in school, Carissa. You are no longer in school.
I actually first heard about Twelfth Night when I watched the terrible funny and juvenile cute film She's the Man. Which incidentally used a line from the crazy letter Marvolio receives in its final climatic awesome moment. Urg. Talk about taking that out of context.
Don't judge. I was like 15 or 16 when it came out. I wasn't into this academic shit just yet.
Anyway while I wasn't expecting a play about...well..soccer or anything, I was surprised at how little they actually took from the play. If I remember correctly the film was actually going to be about staging a play, and they decided to change it to make it more 'popular' or something.
Oh, America. Why must you ruin these things? At least 10 things I hate about You isn't quite the train-wreck She's the Man is.
The play, as expected of Shakespeare, is divided through a multitude of sub-plots: the love triangle between Olivia, Viola, and Orsino, Sir Toby and his shenanigans that touch another love triangle centered around Olivia, and the tiny plot concerning Sebastian and Antonio-which really only serves as the catalyst for the messy love triangle the main characters are in to unravel. What surprised me about the plot of the play was the fact that a large part of it gets devoted to the more comedic side, while the main love triangle is kind of pushed to the side, especially considering the tiny role Orsino plays throughout the piece.
And I mean tiny. I feel bad for any actor who choose to be him for his main characterness. That dude was skimped for lines.
This imbalance, as I see it, does, however, make sense as most of the play really revolves around Viola and the Fool-who are speakers for sexuality/gender roles as well as language respectively. That's not to say Shakespeare is skimping on characterization, except perhaps for Orsino (We don't get much from him other than he's in love with Olivia..well until he's not ?), but these two are really where he's putting his talent into.
Though I must say the puns this man came up with are applause worthy. I would love love LOVE to see this play live. It's much too funny not to be shared.
The other characters are still notable; many of them providing interesting clues to the contemporary world Shakespeare was interacting with, including puritanism, 15th/16th century knighthood, and, of course, the concept of gender roles on stage; the latter, most definitely, the highlight of Twelfth Night.
It's plays like these that really make me realize why we continue to study the guy. His plays are not only still wonderful to read and watch, but they bring up important points that continue to be discussed today.
Damn, now I have to kill another one of my research urges.