Twelfth Night

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Twelfth Night

William Shakespeare, a well known poet and playwright, was born April 26, 1564 at Straford upon Avon. His parents were Mary Arden and John Shakespeare and he had seven other siblings. At the age of eighteen he married Anne Hathaway. They raised two daughters, Suzanna (1583) and twins Hamnet and Judith (1585). Hamnet later died early into his boyhood. Shakespeare first looked to poetry, not playwrighting. In the mid 1850's, Shakespeare left his family to become a playwright in Lodon. From 1593-1601 he wrote his first sonnets that were later published in 1609. Shakespeare wrote over 30 plays that were divided into the genres of, histories, comedies, tradgedies and romances. Some of his most famous works included, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, MacBeth, Julius Ceasar, and Twelfth Night.His famous plays were performed infront of large audiences in the Globe Theater, bulit in 1599. This theater was built by Shakespeare and a group of Chamberlain's men. At the time, the Globe Theater was the most well known and most famous theater. With the money he made from the income of the Globe Theater, Shakespeare was able to buy a new place in Stratford. He retired from the stage in 1612, and died April 23, 1616.

Who is William Shakespeare

Dramatic Irony is when the audience knows something that the characters don't. One example of dramatic irony is that the audience knows that Sebastian is alive, but Viola doesn't. Another example i when the audience knows that Cesario is a woman, but the Duke doesn't so he employees her. Olivia is unaware the Cesario is a woman, so she falls in love with her.Verbal irony is when a person or character says something, but means the opposite. An example of verbal irony is that Sir Andrew, according to Sir Toby, is very smart and able to speak four languages. In reality he cannot even speak one word of a different language. He also call Maria, Mary Accost when Sir Toby speaks to Sir Andrew. " Accost, Sir Andrew, accost!' 'What's that' My neice's chamberamid' 'Good mistress Mary Accost...(1.3.48-51)" Another example of verbal irony is when Feste the fool says that he "lives by the church" (3.1.3-7_). Viola automatically thinks that he is a christian, but he literally means that his house is next to a church.

Twelfth NightBy: Cami O. & Christina P.


In Shakespeare's comedy, Twelfth Night, many allusions are used. An allusion is a reference to mythology, historical events, science, religion, etc. For example, in the beginning of the story, Viola says "My brother in is Elysium (1.2.4)". After the shipwreck, Viola thinks her twin brother, Sebastian, is dead, so she says he has gone to a place where the dead go. This is place is an Elysium where you go for the afterlife if you are blessed."Like to th' egyptian thief at point of death" (5.1.120) says Orsino to Olivia. She is refering to a novel written by Helidorus in which the robber chief, threatened with death, tries to kill a woman he loves to prevent her from being taken by another. After Feste the fool is finished talking to the "mad" Malvolio, he walks away singing, "In a trice, like the old vice" (4.2.28). The old vice is a comic character in earlier drama, who's props and abtics are described in lines os song. Feste is descibing his own antics in words of sonf like the old vice."Diana's lip is not more smooth and rubious" (1.5.34-35). Duke Orsino verbaly admiring the beauty of Olivia to Orsino. He is comparing her to Diana, a virgin goddess known for her youth and beauty.


Sheakespeare and many other writers use both direct and indirect characterization to describe their character's personality. Direct characterization is simply stating what the character is like. In Twelfth Night, Shakespeare uses an example of direct characterization, "Ay, but he'll have but a year in all these ducats. He's a very fool and a prodigal(1.3.23-24)". Shakespeare also uses indirect characterization to describe many of the characters in his stories. Indirect characterization is when a writer shows what a character is like through their actions. For example, Sir Andrew calls Maria "Mistress Mary Acost" when Sir Toby says, "Accost, Sir Andrew, Accost! (1.3.48)". Without having the words written "Sir Andrew is not a smart man", Shakespeare showed his personality through their conversation.

In Illyria, an ancient country in Southern Europe, Duke Orsino is in love with Lady Olivia, but she is mourning the death of her brother. Olivia has sworn off love to any man for seven years. When a ship wrecks on Illyria's coast, a young maiden named Viola turns to the Duke for work, but to do so, she must disguise herself as a man. Viola thinks she has lost her brother, Sebastian, in the shipwreck, so she decides to dress and act like him. Duke Orsino has Cesario (Viola) send Lady Olivia messages of love. Lady Olivia refuses to love the Duke, as she has fallen for Cesario. Meanwhile Viola has fallen in love with the Duke. Cesario tells Lady Olivia he wil never love any woman. When Sebastian returns from the wreck, he finds Olivia and immediatly falls in love with her. Confused, Olivia mistakes Sebestian for Cesario, so she marries him. The Duke is mad at Cesario, but she is too confused to explain what has happened. In the end, Sebastian and Viola are reunited. Sebastian and Olivia have their official wedding along with Duke Orsino and Viola.Malvolio is one Olivia's servants, who is very much in love with her. He is ver rude and incosiderate of Sir Toby, Sir Andrew, and Maria. The three of them decide to trick him with a letter of love from Olivia. The fake letter tells Malvolio to wear yellow stockings, cross gartered, and to constanly smile at her. He is also supposed to be mean and yell at the other servants and be considerate of Sir Andrew and Sir Toby. Olivia thinks Malvolio has gone mad and tells Sir Toby to take special care of him. Sir Toby threw him into a dark dungeon and tortures him.Sebastian, Violas twin, really is not dead. He was rescued by Antonio who brings him into Illyria. Antonio protects him in this foreign land, even though he is a fugitive to Duke Orsino's land.They decided to splitup beause Sebasttian wants to go sight seeing, but Antonio is trying to stay hidden. When Antonio sees Cesario dueling Sir Andrew, he thinks it is Sebastian and duels for him. The guards recognize him and arrest him. Antonio calls out for help, but Cesario denies knowing him. He feels like Sebastian has disowned him.Olivia married Sebastian think he was Cesraio. When she finds out who he really is, they still decide to be officially married. In the end of the story, Duke finds out Cesario is a woman. Even though he loved Olivia, Duke Orsino and Viola get married.

Plot, Sub Plot, Plot Twist

Direct & Indirect characterization

Act 1. Scene 3. Lines 48-51


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