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Twelfth Night

William Shakespeare

Key Facts

Important Quotations Explained

Study Questions & Essay Topics

full title ·  Twelfth Night, or What You Will

author · William Shakespeare

type of work · Play

genre · Comedy

language  · English

time and place written · Between 1600 and 1602, England

date of first publication  ·  1623, in the First Folio

publisher  · Isaac Jaggard and Edward Blount

tone  · Light, cheerful, comic; occasionally frantic and melodramatic, especially in the speeches of Orsino and Olivia

tense  · Present (the entire story is told through dialogue)

setting (time)  · Unknown

setting (place)  · The mythical land of Illyria (Illyria is a real place, corresponding to the coast of present-day Albania—but Twelfth Night is clearly set in a fictional kingdom rather than a real one)

protagonist  · Viola

major conflict  · Viola is in love with Orsino, who is in love with Olivia, who is in love with Viola’s male disguise, Cesario. This love triangle is complicated by the fact that neither Orsino nor Olivia knows that Viola is really a woman.

rising action  · The mounting confusion, mistaken identities, and professions of love leading up to Act V

climax  · Sebastian and Viola are reunited, and everyone realizes that Viola is really a woman

falling action  · Viola prepares to marry Orsino; Malvolio is freed and vows revenge; everyone else goes off to celebrate

themes  · Love as a cause of suffering; the uncertainty of gender; the folly of ambition

motifs  · Letters, messages, and tokens; madness; disguises; mistaken identity

symbols  · Olivia’s gifts; the darkness of Malvolio’s prison; changes of clothing

foreshadowing  · Little or none, as the play moves too fast.

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Q. Consider Twelfth Night as a romantic comedy.

by touhidsm, May 02, 2014

Answer: William Shakespeare has written a number of romantic comedies. Twelfth Night is one of the finest comedies of the author. We know that a romantic comedy is a play in which the romantic elements are mingled with comic elements. It is a form of comedy which deals with love. Love at first sight is often its main theme.
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Q. "Twelfth Night is a typical romantic comedy of Shakespeare." Discuss. Or. What aspects of Twelfth Night justify its being called a romantic play? Or. Critically comment on Twelfth Night as a romantic comedy. Or. Consider Twelfth Night as a romantic

by touhidsm, May 02, 2014

Ans: William Shakespeare has written a number of romantic comedies. Twelfth Night is one of the finest comedies of the author. We know that a romantic comedy is a play in which the romantic elements are mingled with comic elements. It is a form of comedy which deals with love. Love at first sight is often its main theme. Generally, a romantic comedy starts with some problems that make the union of the lover difficult. But it ends with their happy union. Twelfth Night is a typical romantic play of Shakespeare. It has some elements which give ... Read more

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31 out of 35 people found this helpful

Twelfth Night as a romantic comedy

by touhidsm, May 04, 2014

Answer: William Shakespeare has written a number of romantic comedies. Twelfth Night is one of the finest comedies of the author. We know that a romantic comedy is a play in which the romantic elements are mingled with comic elements. It is a form of comedy which deals with love. Love at first sight is often its main theme. Generally, a romantic comedy starts with some problems that make the union of the lover difficult. But it ends with their happy union. Twelfth Night is a typical romantic play of Shakespeare. It has some elements which gi... Read more

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11 out of 13 people found this helpful

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