Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night

    I know thy constellation is right apt
    For this affair.

Orsino in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night 1.4.33-4

Do adore some cross-dressing, homo-erotic, confused-souls, with shipwrecks, lost siblings, and exciting denouement – grand finale with a sigh of relief.

According to Bloom?

“I am a little sorry that Shakespeare used Twelfth Night as his primary title; What You Will is better, and among much else means like “Have at You!”

Not that Twelfth Night is high farce. Like all the other strongest plays by Shakespeare, Twelfth Night is no genre.”

    Bloom, Harold. Shakespeare. The Invention of the Human. NY: Riverhead Books, 1998. Page 227.
    Fate, show thy force: ourselves we do not owe;
    What is decreed must be; and be this so.

Olivia in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night 1.5.171-4

Yes, can’t argue with fate. So there’s a shipwreck, and Viola gets separated from her twin brother, and Viola washes up on shore, then disguises herself as boy, originally as a eunuch, to serve in Orsino’s court, where, as boy, Orsino gets Viola, now called Cesario, to woe Olivia, who will have none of Orsino, but Olivia falls in love with the Cesario, who is really Viola.

“Cheerfully secular, like almost all of Shakespeare, the play of ‘what you will’ makes no reference whatsoever to Twelfth Night.”

    Bloom, Harold. Shakespeare. The Invention of the Human. NY: Riverhead Books, 1998. Page 229.

More about Bloom as a reference.

12th Night (bookplate).

Twelfth Night

“Shakespeare’s acute sense that all sexual love is arbitrary in its origins but overdetermined in its teleology is at the center of Twelfth Night.”

    Bloom, Harold. Shakespeare. The Invention of the Human. NY: Riverhead Books, 1998. Page 235.

Yes, all that plus cross-dressing.

“The genius of Twelfth Night is Feste, the most charming of all Shakespeare’s fools, and the only sane character in a wild play.”

    Bloom, Harold. Shakespeare. The Invention of the Human. NY: Riverhead Books, 1998. Page 244.

“But wait, there’s more!”

Twelfth Night

“Romance, the genre of Shakespeare’s late plays, was a popular Elizabethan mode. Among its signature elements were shipwrecks, the rediscovery of long-lost brothers and sisters, physical marks or recognition, and rebirths from the sea. A fundamentally narrative genre, which would eventually give rise to the modern novel, romance always turns on epiphany, and on moments of rebirth.”

    Garber, Marjorie. Shakespeare After All. NY: Pantheon Books, 2004. Page 508.

12th Night

What’s always amusing, to me, it’s not like I don’t know how this will turn out. Still, happy ending, and this version downplayed Malvolio’s conclusion, the bittersweet denouement –

Well-played by the Shakespeare at Winedale, well-played.

12th Night

Twelfth Night at University of Texas -Winedale.

astrofish.net and its family of websites participate in affiliate programs, which means there are material connections between the ads, and this site.

astrofish.net/travel for appearances —
See the fineprint for full disclosure and terms.

© 1994 – 2022 Kramer Wetzel for kramerw.com

1 comment… add one

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Next post:

Previous post: