Twelth Night Essay Research Paper

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Twelth Night Essay, Research Paper “Twelth Night” by William Shakespeare L.O. To be able to identify and anylse the different forms of comedy in ‘Twelth Night’ by responding, in essay form, to the following title : Traditionally, in the merrymaking of Twelth Night the general order of things is overturned. Show, by reference to several examples, how this topsy-turvydom is presented in ‘Twelth Night’. Shakespeare wrote this play in about 1600 to be performed in front of Queen Elizabeth and her court on the Twelth Night of Christmas. Twelth Night is a romantic comedy of misreadings. In the play disguise, mistaken identity and the ambiguities of language all conspire to confuse the characters’ judgement of one another and their perception of the World. Throughout

the play the humour in Twelth Night varies from slapstick comedy to dramatic irony. Shakespeare is constantly mocking how idiodically people behave when they are in love. He presents the audience with a range of characters illustrating the different types of comedy and emphasising the contrasts between them. The audience is manipulated by using situations that we can identify with. Throughout the play we find ourselves laughing at the misfortune of most, if not all the characters within the play because we recognise the ironies that they encounter. The situations and themes featured within the play are exaggerated by Shakespeare in order to produce comedy. Twelth Night reflects the way in which people misread situations and how they are blind to the reality that lies in front of

them. In short, Twelth Night demonstrates how love is madness – it is Human Nature. The reason that a modern audience can still relate to Shakespeare’s play is because the Human Nature has not changed. Shakespeare creates comedy through confusion of identity, thus creating farce humour. In Elizabethan time men played the female characters. The original Elizabethan audience would have found special sophistication in viola’s situation, where a man dresses up as a woman, who, in the play disguises herself as a man. Mistaken identity and confusion in love create much of the comedy in ‘Twelth Night.’ Shakespeare creates gentle humour around Cesario, Orsino, and Olivia’s situation. It is ironic that Cesario is saying loving words to Olivia from the Duke, where really

Cesario would like to be saying these words to the Duke, Orsino. Shakespeare also creates subtle humour from love and watching confusion in love. Shakespeare manipulates the audience’s feelings by realism and giving the audience an understanding of the characters feelings; “Nothing that is so, is so” Shakespeare creates the main humour in ‘Twelth Night’ through his use of mistaken identity. The most obvious fools of the play are Sir Toby Belch and Sir Andrew Aguecheek. They present the audience with a farcical performance of drunkenness and over indulgence. Even their names suggest that they are excessive in their eating and drinking. Throughout the play they are continually flaunting their foolish behaviour and provoking the pompous Malvolio. They dislike Malvolio

because he is a self-righteous puritan and often tries to spoil their fun. Malvolio’s presence as a steward means that he does not accommodate lower gentry fools such as Sir Toby and Sir Andrew. When they are disturbing Olivia’s household, he asks them, “Have you no wit, manners or honesty?” Maria, who is Olivia’s gentlewoman, also creates farcical humour when she outrageously takes part in the drunken antics of Toby Belch and Andrew Aguecheek. Whenever these characters are on stage there is always anticipation about what they will ridicule next. From early on in the play, however, it is Maria’s crafty idea to play a trick on the arrogant puritan, Malvolio. “I will drop in his way some obscure epistles of love” Sir Toby and Sir Andrew are straight forward in their