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Twelfth Night - The Student's Shakespeare

Twelfth Night - The Student's Shakespeare
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Twelfth Night

In William Shakespeare's comedy Twelfth Night, a young woman finds herself shipwrecked on the shore of Illyria. Her twin brother is missing, presumed drowned. All alone in a strange land, Viola decides to disguise herself as a man for safety. And so the comedy begins!

William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night is a comedy. In medieval and Tudor times, the ‘Twelfth Night’ was the end of a winter festival

that started on 31 October (All Hallows Eve, or as we know it

today, Halloween). Mulled cider was drunk, and special pastries

baked, and a king and queen (who could have been servants in

charge for the night) ruled the festival until the clock struck midnight.

People expected a topsy-turvy evening, with singing and clowning

about, when the normal order of things was reversed, and

the Lord of Misrule symbolised the world turning upside down.

Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, with its rebellious gender jokes, crossdressing,

practical jokes, daft costumes, moonstruck lovers and

comic revenge would have been amusing for audiences. Today we

study the play to understand the language and appreciate the play’s

entertaining nature, and we enjoy the farcical mixing- up of men

and women, and the funny characters such as Malvolio.

This new edition includes the complete text with explanatory notes,

Shakespeare’s language, and themes, and also explores typical

exam themes and questions.


• Introduction

• The Story of Twelfth Night

• The Play’s Characters

• Themes and Language

• Examining the Play

• The Play

• Notes throughout

About Angela Sheehan:

Angela Sheehan, who introduces the play, is a Shakespeare

enthusiast. She has had a distinguished career editing encyclopedias,

educational texts and reference books for children.

This play contains a new introduction, character notes

ISBN: 9781842058886

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