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 twelfth night aplay of shakespeare

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مُساهمةموضوع: twelfth night aplay of shakespeare   الأربعاء يوليو 15, 2009 2:32 am

This article is about Shakespeare's play. For other uses, see Twelfth Night (disambiguation).

Malvolio courts Olivia, while Maria covers her amusement, in an engraving by R. Staines after a painting by Daniel Maclise.Twelfth Night, Or What You Will is a romantic comedy by William Shakespeare, believed written around 1601 as a Twelfth Night's entertainment for the close of the Christmas season. The play expanded on the musical interludes and riotous disorder expected of such an occasion,[1] with plot elements drawn from the short story "Of Apollonius and Silla" by Barnabe Rich based on a story by Matteo Bandello. The first recorded performance was on 2 February 1602, at Candlemas, the formal end of Christmastide in the year's calendar. The play was not published until its inclusion in the 1623 First Folio.

The subtitle is believed to be an afterthought, created after John Marston premièred a play titled What You Will during the course of the writing. The title Twelfth Night, or What You Will, prepares the audience for its jovial feel of festivities consisting of drink, dance, and giving in to general self-indulgence. The subtitle What You Will, implies that the audience is also involved in the merry spirit found in the play. The subtitle also refers to the wealthier characters who do little work and possess the liberty to do as they please, focuses on the aristocrats of society who are entitled to their pleasures while the only hard work being done is by their servants. [2]

Characters
Viola, twin sister to Sebastian. When disguised as a man, known as Cesario
Orsino, Duke of Illyria, in love with Olivia
Olivia, a Countess
Sebastian, twin brother to Viola
Maria, a gentlewoman in Olivia's household
Sir Toby Belch, Olivia's uncle
Sir Andrew Aguecheek, a companion of Sir Toby's
Malvolio, steward to Olivia
Feste, also referred to as the Fool, a jester in Olivia's household.
Fabian, a member of Olivia's household.
Antonio, a captain, a friend to Sebastian.
Captain, a sea captain who helps Viola.
First Officer, an officer sent from Duke Orsino to arrest Antonio.
Second Officer, an officer who helps arrest Antonio.
Valentine and Curio, two gentlemen attending Orsino
Priest, a Holy Father
Servant, a servant who reports that Viola/Cesario has returned to see Olivia
Musicians, Lords, Sailors, and other attendants



[edit] Synopsis

Orsino and Viola by Frederick Richard PickersgillIllyria, the setting of Twelfth Night, is important to the play's romantic atmosphere. The actual Illyria is an ancient region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea covering parts of modern Croatia, Montenegro and Albania, but, in the context of allegory, is thought to be Menæchmi, as a place where, as in Twelfth Night, a twin went looking for her brother. Shakespeare himself mentioned it previously, in Henry VI, Part II, noting its reputation for pirates. It has been noted that the play's setting also has English characteristics such as Viola's use of "Westward ho!", a typical cry of 16th century London boatmen, and also Antonio's recommendation to Sebastian of "the Elephant" as where it is "best to lodge" in Illyria; the Elephant was a pub not far from the Globe theatre.[3]

Like many of Shakespeare's comedies, this one centres on mistaken identity. The leading character, Viola, is shipwrecked on the shores of Illyria during the opening scenes. She loses contact with her twin brother, Sebastian, whom she believes dead. Masquerading as a young page under the name Cesario, she enters the service of Duke Orsino. Orsino is in love with the bereaved Lady Olivia, whose father and brother have recently died, and who will have nothing to do with any suitors, the Duke included. Orsino decides to use "Cesario" as an intermediary. Olivia, believing Viola to be a man, falls in love with this handsome and eloquent messenger. Viola, in turn, has fallen in love with the Duke, who also believes Viola is a man, and who regards her as his confidant.


Olivia (1888) by Edmund Blair LeightonMuch of the play is taken up with the comic subplot, in which several characters conspire to make Olivia's pompous head steward, Malvolio, believe that his lady Olivia wishes to marry him. It involves Olivia's uncle, Sir Toby Belch; another would-be suitor, a silly squire named Sir Andrew Aguecheek; her servants Maria and Fabian; and her father's favourite fool, Feste. Sir Toby and Sir Andrew disturb the peace of their lady's house by keeping late hours and perpetually singing catches at the very top of their drunken voices, prompting Malvolio to chastise them. This is the basis for Sir Toby, Sir Andrew, and Maria's revenge on Malvolio.

The riotous company convince Malvolio that Olivia is secretly in love with him, and write a letter in Olivia's hand, asking Malvolio to wear yellow stockings cross-gartered, to be rude to the rest of the servants, and to smile in all circumstances. Olivia, saddened by Viola's attitude to her, asks for her chief steward, and is shocked by a Malvolio who has seemingly lost his mind. She leaves him to the contrivances of his tormentors.

Pretending that Malvolio is insane, they lock him up in a dark cellar (a common "treatment" for the mentally ill), with a slit for light. Feste visits him to mock his "insanity", once disguised as a priest, and again as himself. At the end of the play Malvolio learns of their conspiracy and storms off promising revenge, but the Duke dispatches Fabian to pacify him.

Meanwhile Sebastian, Viola's brother, believed deceased, arrives on the scene, sowing confusion. Mistaking him for Viola, Olivia asks him to marry her, and they are secretly united. Finally, when the twins appear in the presence of both Olivia and the Duke, there is more wonder and awe at their similarity, at which point Viola reveals she is really a female and that Sebastian is her lost twin brother. The play ends in a declaration of marriage between the Duke and Viola, and it is learned that Toby has married Maria. An elegaic song from Feste ("heigh-ho, the wind and the rain") brings the entertainment to a close.
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