Comedy in Twelfth Night Literary Genre Companion for …

However, it can be suggested that certain elements of Twelfth Night are not interpreted to be purely comedic; Shakespeare has incorporated serious and controversial subjects such as the idea of genuine love, the patriarchy of the time and the cruel gulling of Malvolio....

Twelfth Night: Come away, come away, death | Stewartry

Twelfth Night is a romantic comedy, and romantic love is the play’s main focus.

The Twelfth Night: The Comedy, The Deception and …

's Twelfth Night, or What You Will is a comedy about a cross-dressing, ship-wreck surviving, poetry-loving girl who finds herself at the center of a not-so-average love triangle.

Written between 1601 and 1602 (right around the same time Shakespeare wrote and Troilus and Cressida), the play is most famous today for being a so-called "Transvestite Comedy" (which just means it's a comedy with one or more cross-dressing characters). In Elizabethan London, all stage plays were performed by male actors who cross-dressed in order to play the parts of women. Twelfth Night is particularly provocative and interesting, since the role of its heroine, Viola, would have been played by a boy actor, who was cross-dressed as a female character, who cross-dresses as a boy. The story line has inspired plenty of remakes and adaptations, including the popular teen flick , starring .

Viola's cross-dressing may be no big moral whoop for audiences today, but, for 16th century Puritans, it was a big no-no. Theater critics argued that cross-dressing was sinful, "wicked," and "monstrous." They argued that it promoted sexual "deviance" and turned women into hermaphrodites. Today, however, Twelfth Night is one of the most popular and beloved of Shakespeare comedies perhaps because of its rebellious portrayal of gender ambiguity.

It was popular back in Shakespeare's day, too, but perhaps for different reasons. We know from 17th-century law student John Manningham's diary that Twelfth Night was performed at the Middle Temple (a London law school) on February 2, 1602. Check out what he had to say:

At our feast we had a play called "Twelfth Night, or What You Will," much like "" […] A good practice in it to make a Steward believe his Lady Widow was in love with him, by counterfeiting a letter […]

It's interesting that Manningham's diary entry focuses on the Malvolio sub-plot, which isn't necessarily what contemporary readers think of when they reflect on the play. Manningham's entry suggests that, at least for him, the play's ridicule of the social-climbing Puritan figure, Malvolio, was the most interesting and entertaining part of the performance. Several decades later, (b. 1600-1649) may have thought the same thing. In his copy of Shakespeare's works, he crossed out the title Twelfth Night and wrote in Malvolio! as a replacement. Guess old Charlie didn't like social climbers and Puritans either.

Of course, sat on the throne when Twelfth Night was penned. We wonder what she thought of the play. If she ever saw it, that is. Critics aren't sure. Check out "" for more on the debate.

English Literature: Twelfth Night: As a Romantic Comedy

The comedy in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night can be related to the comedy in those writings, although Shakespeare used a variety of comedic techniques, not used in either Great Expectations or Gulliver’s Travels.

In Twelfth Night, Feste, Maria and Sir Toby are the fools that make the comedy work in many senses....

Twelfth Night Essay Research Paper Twelfth Night — Sutree

Because of this, critics find that there is a very thin line between the categorisation of the novel and therefore see ‘Twelfth Night’ as both comedy and tragedy despite the fact that the audience and Shakespeare call this play a comedy....

Twelfth Night Essay - 2039 Words - Free Essay …

Though completely different written pieces (Twelfth Night with its comedic enlightenment, and Mosquito Coast with its serious "growing up" style enlightenment) are both comprised of the latter truth element where an inevitable realization of reality is reached in the end....

In William Shakespeare's comedy, Twelfth Night, Feste the clown is not the only fool who is subject to foolery.

Perfect for students who have to write Twelfth Night essays.

"At our feast wee had a play called 'Twelve Night,or What You Will', much like the Comedy of Errores, or Menechmi in Plautus,but most like and neere to that in Italian called Inganni."If you are interested in Shakespeare's plot sources, you can startwith a book by one Barnabe Riche ("Riche His Farewell to Military Profession"),written in 1581.

The comedy in Twelfth Night varies greatly from the comedy in Great Expectations and Gulliver’s Travels at times.

English Essays: Twelfth Night Comedy in Other Writings

In Will Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night or What You Will, Shakespeare attempts to have a great balance of both cruelty and joy while also containing comical qualities to this romantic play.

Meaning that although Twelfth Night has this central focus of love, each does not necessarily share the same component of love.

“Twelfth Night has been described as a bitter-sweet comedy

Twelfth Night characters analysis features noted Shakespeare scholar William Hazlitt's famous critical essay about Twelfth Night's characters.