Even after reading this I still have no idea why it’s called Twelfth Night, but UGH I LOVED THIS! This was funny, witty, and reading historical romances does pay off after all!
I’m going to be honest: I wanted to read this after finding out way back that the 2006 film starring Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum was based on this play.
Everything happens quite fast here – shipwrecked twins get separated, one goes into service for Duke Orsino, the other gets rescued by a kind stranger. From there we know what happens (based on She’s The Man, HAH): Viola dressed as a man acts as an emissary for Orsino, but instead of winning Olivia’s affections for her boss, the Countess falls for her instead. Shenanigans ensue.
Malvolio was obviously there for comedic relief. I thought by the end they were kind of pushing it, but his story line does get wrapped up neatly, and I’m glad that Olivia and Orsino had some conscience.
Also, how did Viola and Orsino end up together?! And for a long-suffering suitor, Orsino sure did give up his pursuit of Olivia quite easily.
But I still liked this a lot! I think the highlight of this really is the comedy and the woman-dressed-as-a-man gags, not the romance.
I like this edition of Twelfth Night by Collins! The notes on phrases, terminology, and context are located on the opposite page of the text of the play, like so:
And it helps you better understand the play. If you regularly read historical romances you’ll find some of the terms here familiar, and feel vindicated because finally, it comes in handy! I’m quite happy I picked this up, even if it was by chance. The Taming of the Shrew was unavailable while I was in the bookstore, so on a whim (which honestly frequently describes my bookstore visits and purchases – “on a whim.”) I bought this instead.
What are your favourite works of Shakespeare? 😀