Twelfth Night

by: William Shakespeare

Suggestions for Further Reading

Bloom, Harold, ed. Modern Critical Interpretations of Twelfth Night. New York: Chelsea House, 1987

A collection of ten critical essays on the comedy, compiled by Yale critic Harold Bloom, and arranged in chronological order of initial publication.

———. Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human. New York: Riverhead Books, 1998.

A sweeping treatment by Yale literary critic Harold Bloom that devotes one essay to each of Shakespeare’s plays, emphasizing their originality and their subsequent impact on later literature and thought.

Booth, Stephen. “Twelfth Night 1.1: The Audience as Malvolio.” In Shakespeare’s Rough Magic: Essays in Honor of C. L. Barber, ed. Peter Erickson and Coppélia Kahn. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1985. 149–167.

An essay by UC Berkley professor Stephen Booth exploring the use and virtue of nonsense within Twelfth Night, arguing that the first scene of the play is a deliberate exercise in stealthy deception, tricking the audience to thinkthe scene is linguistically coherent when in fact the scene is not.

Gay, Penny. “Twelfth Night: Desire and Its Discontents.” In As She Likes It: Shakespeare’s Unruly Women. London: Routledge, 1994. 17–47.

In this essay, Penny Gay takes a look at the way Twelfth Night has been staged over the last half-century, and explores perceptions of gender, power, and sexuality within the play.

Greenblatt, Stephen, gen. ed. The Norton Shakespeare (Based on the Oxford Edition). New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 1997.

A compilation of all of Shakespeare’s plays, including detailed introductions for each play, written by Stephen Greenblatt.

King, Walter N., ed. Twentieth-Century Interpretations of Twelfth Night. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1968.

A collection of critical essays on Twelfth Night written by several prominent Shakespeare scholars, including C.L. Barber, Sylvan Barnet, and Leslie Hotson.

Leggatt, Alexander. Shakespeare’s Comedy of Love.London: Methuen, 1974

In this book, scholar Alexander Leggatt sets out to show that what distinguishes Shakespeare’s comedies is not their similarity but their variety - the way in which each play is a new combination of similar ingredients and parts.


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