Talk:Twelfth Night

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"Shakespeare uses it to raise questions about human identity and whether such classifications as gender and class status are fixed entities or can be altered with a simple shift of clothes." This sounds like a theory to me. - Shapore loves Antone && ' Brittany loves Tj .

Word Choices[edit]

Does the article have to use the word "thenceforth"? A lot of people who wish to understand Shakespeare's play aa bit better (if they feel they don't fully grasp his writing style and word usage) would just get confused and annoyed seeing a Shakespeare-esque word such as "thenceforth" in the middle of a plain-english plot summary. I've barely even heard the word in regular usage; others I'm sure will be outright befuddled [sic] by it. -- 03:44, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

  • Your idea is fine by me. It's a wiki: go ahead and change it. AndyJones 13:07, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Another distracting word choice comes at the beginning of the article: "Twelfth Night was presumingly written in 1600 to 1601..." I believe the author means "presumably." Presumingly means to be arrogant. Presumably means to take something as a fact from the surrounding evidence. Since no evidence is presented, even "presumably" doesn't seem quite right. How about "Twelfth Night is generally accepted to have been written between 1600 and 1601" or "Modern scholarship places the writing of Twelfth Night between 1600 and 1601." Of course you'll need to cite a source. 16:28, 8 June 2007 (UTC)Kenneth James Damrau

I'm just kinda flummoxed by the introductory paragraph. It reads like a high school book report. Does someone have time to bring it at least to college freshman status?

Zelchenko (talk) 05:00, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

I've just cut the following from the intro:
The main title 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 us for the mind games being played in the script. Reading through the theatre piece, it is difficult to conjure up a clear message behind the mysterious heading. The title tells us that the time is night, which pertains to darkness and losing innocence. The heading also represents the Twelfth Night of Christmas which proposes that the play has a more jovial feel which leans towards the corrupt nightlife. The festivities consist of drink, dance, and giving in to general self-indulgence. The subtitle What You Will, suggests that the audience is interested in being provoked by the sexuality and merry spirit found in the play. The subtitle also refers to the wealthier characters possessing the liberty to do as they please. For instance, almost everyone in Illyria is well off and does little work. The play focuses on the aristocrats of society who are entitled to their pleasures while the only hard work being done is by Malvolio and Feste. The title, as confusing to understand as the play, fits the character of the script and perfectly suggests what the play is about.


I can't see that it contributes anything very useful to the article. If someone wants to rework and insert in an appropriate sub-section, there it is. DionysosProteus (talk) 13:30, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
(this might be in the wrong column, feel free to move, just tell me) This is one of the versions of Twelfth Night.
  • Stones scraped the rowboat’s wooden hull as a pair of sailors steadied the vessel. Viola gathered her skirts, which were torn and tattered from the storm, and prepared to disembark. The young noblewoman hesitated. She turned to watch the rolling waves, which had destroyed her ship and drowned her twin brother, Sebastian. At last she took the hand of the captain who had rescued her and stepped onto the unfamiliar shore.

“What country is this, friend?” Viola asked. “Who governs here?” “This is Illyria,” the captain replied. “It is ruled by Orsino, a noble duke. Orsino seeks the love of fair Olivia. She is the daughter of a count that died some twelve months past. Her brother shortly also died, for whose dear love, they say, Olivia hath forsworn the company of men.” Viola considered her situation. She was of noble birth, but a foreigner in an unknown land. She was a woman alone, with no friends or family. She had only a small purse of gold coins, all she’d been able to rescue from the shipwreck. Then she had a brilliant and bold idea: She’s disguise herself as a boy. As a boy, Viola could move around more freely. She could work as a servant and find out more about this island. Then she could safely reveal her identity and ask for help. “I’ll serve this duke,” Viola decided. She fished in her purse for a gold coin and offered it to the captain. She asked him to buy her some boy’s clothes. “Conceal me what I am,” Viola told the captain. “Present me as a serving boy to the duke. I can sing and speak to him in many sorts of music that will allow me very worth his service.” Viola announced she would go by the male name Cesario. A few days later, Duke Orsino lay on a couch in the royal palace. He was so lovesick he didn’t want to do anything but think about Olivia. His musicians played a melancholy song to match their lord’s mood. When the tine ended, Orsino sighed. “If music be the food of love, play on,” he said. He sighed again and thought of his beloved Olivia, who did not return his affection. “Enough, no more.” The duke said. He waved his musicians away. “’Tis not so sweet now as is was before.” The duke called for his new page, Cesario. The youth had turned up at his palace a few days before. Orsino had taken quite a liking to the page. Cesario proved to be excellent company. He was sensitive, understanding, and could sing beautifully. The youth’s quick wit, Orsino decided, more than compensated for a notable lack in the masculine arts of fencing and hunting. The duke teased Cesario about his soft, beardless skin—but he never suspected his young page was female! The young woman pretending to be a young man surprised herself: Viola, as Cesario, felt freer as she had ever been. And the duke’s good company had something to do with this happiness. One morning, Duke Orsino found a new task for Cesario. “Good youth, go to Olivia and unfold the passion of my love,” the duke told his young servant. Cesario was taken aback. “I’ll to my best to woo your lady,” she stammered and left to seek the countess. “But whoever I woo,” Cesario said to herself, “myself, Viola, would be thy wife.” Olivia listlessly wandered through her palace, mourning her brother. Her self-important steward, Malvolio, strutted behind her like a rooster guarding a hen. Malvolio pecked at anyone who came near, especially Olivia’s uncle, Sir Toby Belch, whose drunken requests for money were always ill timed. Sir Toby usually had his ridiculous, but rich, friend Sir Andrew Aguecheek in tow. Aguecheek did his clumsy best to woo Olivia, whenever he got to see her…which wasn’t often! The last thing Olivia wanted was yet another love poem from the persistent Orsino. But when Cesario arrived, he was so witty that Olivia relented and ordered a servant to usher in the boy. She and her waiting women would play a little game with this cheeky youth. Cesario entered Olivia’s chamber and found six women covered in veils waiting for him. The page had no idea which one was the countess. Cesario eyed the veiled women nervously. They hooted with laughter. “The honorable lady of the house, which is she?” Cesario asked. “Speak to me, I shall answer for her,” said Olivia, still disguised. “Give me assurance that you be the lady of the house,” Cesario said. “I would be loath to cast away my speech, for it is excellently well penned.” “Are you a comedian?” asked Olivia. “No,” answered Cesario. “But I an not what I play.” Cesario and Olivia bantered back and forth. The countess found herself drawn to the young page. She ordered her waiting women to leave her alone with him. When Cesario asked her to lift her veil, she did so. The youth was awestruck by the countess’s beauty. Cesario could see why Duke Orsino was so smitten, Cesario decided to take a more direct approach. “My lord and master loves you,” the page told the countess. Olivia stood up abruptly, a signal that the audience was over. “Your lord does not know my mind. I cannot love him. He might have took his answer long ago.” “Farewell, fair cruelty.” Cesario bowed. “Yet if I did love you with my master’s flame, with such a suffering…” Cesario’s voice trailed off. Though disguised as a boy, Viola still had the feelings of a woman. She realized that she loved Orsino and empathized with how deeply Orsino loved Olivia! The countess was gripped by the passion in Cesario’s eyes. “Why, what would you do?” “Make me a willow cabin at your gate, and cry out ‘Olivia!’” Cesario swore. “Write songs of unrequited love and sing them loud even in the dead of the night. Oh, you would not rest between air and earth, but you would pity me!” With this, Cesario strode away. “You might do much,” Olivia whispered. Her heart, so heavy since her brother’s death, felt as if it would rise out of her chest. “Methinks I feel this youth’s perfections with an invisible and subtle stealth to creep in at mine eyes.” Cesario had come to beg Olivia to love Orsino, but the youth’s beautiful speeches had caused the countess to fall in love with the page instead. After Cesario left, Olivia became anxious. If Orsino accepted Olivia’s rejection of his love, he would never send Cesario as his messenger again. The countess slipped a ring off her finger and called for Malvolio. Olivia told her steward that Cesario had given her the ring as a gift from the duke. “Tell him I’ll none if it,” the countess said. She ordered her steward to run after Cesario, give him the ring, and tell him to come by tomorrow for her explanation. Malvolio caught Cesario at the edge of the palace grounds. “Countess Olivia returns this ring to you, sir.” He threw the ring at Cesario’s feet and stalked away. “I left no ring with her. Which means this lady?” Cesario’s eyes grew wide. An awful thought occurred to the page: “She loves me, sure. Fortune forbid my boy’s disguise have not charmed her! Poor lady, she were better love a dream. And yet, how on earth will this turn out? I love Orsino, Orsino loves Olivia, and Olivia loves me!” Late that night, while Olivia was indeed dreaming of Cesario, Sir Toby and Sir Andrew were drinking to each other’s health in the countess’s hall. Their drunken singing echoed through the palace. Olivia’s serving woman, Maria, did not want to see Sir Toby in his niece’s bad graces. She wanted him to marry her, but Sir Toby had little interest in anything but drinking and carousing. “For the love o’God, peace!” Maria urged. Sir Toby just laughed and charmed her into uncorking a new bottle of wine. A moment later Malvolio swept in. He would teach them a lesson. He had prepared a little speech…and was clearly going to enjoy delivering it! “Sir Toby,” the pompous steward began, “my lady bade me tell you that if you can separate yourself and you misdemeanors, you are welcome to the house. If not, she is very willing to bid you farewell.” “Push off,” Sir Toby swore. “Mistress Maria, serve them no more drink,” Malvolio commanded. Then, with a self-satisfied smirk, he departed. Sir Toby made a drunken effort to draw his sword. But Maria thought quickly about how she could turn this to her advantage. She promised more entertaining revenge—to be enacted on the morrow. The next morning, Duke Orsino ordered Cesario to return to Olivia with another vow of love. “But if she cannot love you, sir?” Cesario asked. Orsino frowned. “I cannot be so answered.” “Sooth, but you must. Say that some lady hath for your love as great a pang of heart as you have for Olivia,” Cesario said. “You cannot love her. You will tell her so. Must she then not be answered?” “There is no woman’s sides can bide the beating of so strong a passion of love doth give my heart,” the duke swore. Cesario smiled bitterly. How could such a wonderful man say such ridiculous things? Cesario vowed to make Orsino understand how passionately a woman can love. “My father had a daughter who loved a man, the same way, were I a woman, I should love your lordship,” Cesario said. “She never told her love, but pined in thought,” the youth added. “But died thy sister of her love, my boy?” asked Orsino. “I am all the daughters of my father’s house,” Cesario said boldly and waited for the duke to decipher this riddle. Orsino looked at the page blankly. Cesario sighed. “Sir, shall I to this lady, then?” “Ay, to her in haste,” the duke replied. “Give her this jewel. Say my love will not be denied.” Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Cesario, Sebastian was striding into town with Antonio, a famous sea captain who had rescued him. Antonio warily scanned the streets for soldiers. He had made an enemy of Duke Orsino in battle and did not wish to be seen in Illyria. But he also had grown fond of Sebastian and did not want to abandon the young man in a strange land. Antonio offered to find lodgings for them both while Sebastian toured the island’s sights. Knowing that the young man had lost his gold at sea, the captain insisted that Sebastian borrow his ample purse. A less charitable spirit reigned in Olivia’s garden, where Sir Toby and Sir Andrew hid in breathless anticipation. Maria had set a trap for Malvolio—a trap that could be sprung only by the steward’s own vanity. The bait was a love note, written by Maria on Countess Olivia’s stationary and placed on a garden path where Malvolio often walked. The steward had just discovered the note. “ ‘ To the unknown beloved’,” Malvolio read aloud. His eyebrows shot up. Could this be the sign that he had been hoping for? Could this letter be from Countess Olivia? Malvolio eagerly ripped the seal. “ ‘I may command where I adore’,” he read. “Why, she may command me: I serve her,” Malvolio cried. He read on. “ ‘In my stars I am above thee. But be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon ’em!” The haughty steward puffed out his chest even further. Surely Olivia meant to thrust greatness upon him by marrying him and, in so doing, make him Count Malvolio! He greedily read the rest of the letter. The writer wished her beloved to wear bright yellow stockings held up by elaborate cross-gartering and to smile whenever he was in her sight. Malvolio strutted away, a ghoulish grin stretched across his face. He was eager to fulfill the letter’s commands without delay. Sir Toby and Sir Andrew tumbled out of their hiding place, shaking with laughter. As they brushed themselves off, a servant passed by, leading Cesario to Olivia. Sir Andrew scrambled after them, anxious to eavesdrop on the suit of his rival Orsino. But Olivia took Cesario’s arm and shut the door firmly in Sir Andrew’s face. Inside the palace, Cesario twisted out of Olivia’s grasp. “Madam, I come to whet your gentle thoughts on Duke Orsino’s behalf.” “I pray you, never speak again of him,” Olivia cried. “I did send a ring in chase of you. What might you think?” Cesario took the ring from her pocket and placed it in Olivia’s palm. “You’ll send nothing, madam, to my lord?” “Cesario!” Tears of frustration blurred Olivia’s vision. “I love thee so, that, despite all thy pride, neither wit nor reason can my passion hide.” Cesario searched for words that would discourage Olivia but not insult her. “I have one heart and that no woman has, nor never one shall mistress be of it.” Cesario departed with an akward bow. Olivia, like Orsino, refused to take no for an answer. She sent a servant to bring Cesario back again. While Olivia waited, Malvolio burst in upon her, grinning from ear to ear. He patted the pocket that contained Maria’s letter. “Its commands shall be executed,” he told the countess. Malvolio displayed a yellow leg festooned with ribbons. He winked and blew kisses at the countess. “Are you mad?” the startled lady asked. “‘Some have greatness thrust upon them!’” Malvolio crowed. He moved toward the countess. Olivia jumped back. “Heaven restore thee!” she exclaimed. Maria entered with the news that Cesario had returned. Olivia cast a worried glance at her grinning steward. “Good Maria, let this fellow be looked to. Where’s my unvle Toby?” The countess hurried away. Maria summoned Olivia’s uncle. Sir Toby looked at Malvolio spitefully. “Come, we’ll have him in a dark room and bound,” he whispered to Maria. “My niece is already in the belief that he’s mad.” Maria uneasily agreed. With the help of some other servants, she and Sir Toby dragged Malvolio down to the basement and locked him in. When they returned to the main hall, they found Sir Andrew dressed in traveling gear. Sir Andrew frowned petulantly at Sir Toby. “I saw your niece do more favors to the duke’s serving-man than ever she bestowed upon me,” he complained. Sir Andrew swore he would leave at once. Sir Toby Belch had no intention of letting Sir Andrew Aguecheek—and his generous purse—depart. He easily convinced his foolish that Olivia had shown preference to Cesario in order to test Sir Andrew’s honor and make him jealous. By the time Sir Toby was finished talking, Sir Andrew was resolved: He would challenge Cesario to a duel! When Cesario burst out of the palace, ears ringing with Olivia’s declarations of love, Sir Toby grabbed the youth’s collar. “Of what nature the wrongs are thou hast done him, I know not,” said Sir Toby. “But Sir Andrew, bloodthirsty as the hunter, waits for thee at the orchard end.” Cesario begged Sir Toby to broker a peace; the page had no idea how to fight a duel. Instead, Sir Tiby told Sir Andrew that his young rival was hungry for a fight. Within minutes, Sir Toby had driven the two together, swords drawn and knees knocking. Suddenly, a figure jumped between the two, his weapon aimed at Sir Andrew. “If this young gentleman have done offence,” he said, gesturing at Cesario, “I take the fault on me.” Cesario was grateful, but confused: Why was this man willing to so risk his life? In fact, the stranger was Antonio, the captain. He had mistaken Cesario for Sebastian. Before Cesario could speak, however, Antonio was set upon by Orsino’s officers. They had recognized him as an enemy of the duke and tracked him to the orchard. As the officers bound his hands, Antonio realized how useful it would be to have his money right this moment. Still thinking he addressed Sebastian, Antonio turned to Cesario. “I must entreat of you some of that money.” “What money, sir?” Cesario asked. Antonio could not believe his friend would betray him thus. “Will you deny me now?” he cried as the soldiers dragged him away. “The money I gave you but half an hour since! Oh heavens themselves!” A little hope crept into Cesario’s heart. “Prove true, imagination, O prove true, that I, dear brother, be now taken for you!” Cesario ran toward Orsino’s palace. The duke would surely help. If he freed Antonio, the captain could be further questioned about Sebastian. Sir Andrew watched Cesario’s retreating figure. His shallow courage returned. “I’ll after him and beat him,” the foolish man declared. It was Sir Andrew’s bad luck to find not Cesario, but Sebastian, who had wandered there in search in Antonio. “Now, sir, have I met you again?” Sir Andrew said pompously. “There’s for you.” He punched Sebastian. Sebastian returned the blow with interest. “Why, there’s for thee, and there, and there.” Hearing Sir Andrew’s screams, Sir Toby barreled in and grabbed Sebastian from behind. A moment later, Olivia arrived and angrily shooed her uncle and the others away. Olivia took Sebastian’s arm tenderly. “Be not offended, dear Cesario.” “Either I am mad, or else this is a dream,” Sebastian whispered. He looked at Olivia’s lovely face. “If it be thus to dream, still let me sleep!” Olivia was surprised by Cesario’s seeming change of heart. He wasn’t pushing her away as he had in the past. Sebastian could not fathom what was going on in the least. But he didn’t care; this was bliss! Afraid that Cesario might change again, Olivia proposed that they immediately go to a chapel and be married. They could hold a more elaborate ceremony later, she thought. With a happy laugh, Sebastian agreed. If he could spend his life with Olivia, what did it matter if she called him “Cesario?” The two went hand in hand in the chapel. Not long after, Cesario brought Duke Orsino to where Antonio was being held. “What foolish boldness brought thee to thine enemies?” Orsino asked the captain. Antonio spat. “That most ungrateful boy there by your side, who from the rude sea’s enraged and foamy mouth did I redeam…” But before he could finish, Olivia suddenly swept in. The duke was overjoyed. Here at last was his love! Olivia ignored the duke and went straight over to the paige. “Cesario, you do not keep promise with me,” Olivia said. The lady’s familiar tone embarrassed Cesario. “My lord would speak,” the page answered. Olivia’s loving gaze never left Cesario even as she addressed Orsino. “If it be the old tune, my lord, it is to mine ear as howling after music.” “Still so cruel?” Orsino asked. “Still so ocnstant, lord,” Olivia corrected. Orsino glared at Cesario, who had become so dear to him. Clearly, Olivia had fallen in love with this fine-featured lad. In his anger, the duke vowed he would kill Cesario rather than let Olivia marry him. “I’ll sacrifice the lamb that I do love, to spite a raven’s heart within a dove,” the duke swore. Cesario looked up at Orsino with a full hgeart. “And I for you a thousand deaths would die.” When Orsino turned on his heel and left, Cesario followed, mind racing. If the duke made good on his deadly vow, would he find Viola beneath the disguise—and realize how shw had loved him? “Cesario, husband, stay!” Olivia called. Orsino stopped short. “Husband?” Anger, then sorrow, passed over his face. “Farewell, the duke told Cesario. “Direct thy feet where thou and I may henceforth never meet.” “My lord, I do protest…” Cesario cried. At this moment, Sir Andrew bumbled in, bloody from another unsuccessful attack on Sebastian. “For the love of God, a surgeon! And send one for Sir Toby!” Sir Andrew stopped short when he saw Cesario. “You broke my head for nothing.” “I never hurt you!” Cesario insisted. As Cesario argued with Sir Andrew, Sebastian ran in and took Olivia by the hand. “I am sorry, madam, I have hurt your kinsman,” he said. Stunned, Olivia looked form one Cesario to the other. Sebastian’s attention was on Orsino’s prisoner. “Antonio! How have the hours tortured me since I have lost thee!” he cried. “How have you mad a division of yourself?” Antonio replied. “An apple, cleft in two, is not more twin than these two creatures. Which is Sebastian?” Sebastian and Cesario stood face-to-face. They looked liked a man and his mirror. “I had a sister whom the blind waves devoured,” Sebastian said. “I never had a brother. What kin are you to me? What parentage?” he asked Cesario. “Sebastian was my father. He had a mole upon his brow.” “So had mine,” Sebastian said. “My father died when I was thirteen years old,” Cesario added. “My father finished his mortal act the day my sister turned thirteen,” Sebastian replied. “I had a brother who went to a watery grave,” said Cesario. “If spirits can assume form, you come to frighten us.” Sebastian assured her she was no ghost. Cesario laughed with joy. It was true! This was Sebastian. Now, Cesario could become Viola once again. She threw off her boy’s hat and launched herself into her brother’s arms. “Thrice-welcome, drowned Viola!” Sebastian cried. In short time, Sebastian understood that it was his sister who had won him a wife. He turned apologetically to Olivia. “So comes it, lady, you have been mistook.” Olivia threw her arms around Sebastian, then smiled at Viola. “A sister!” The women laughed and embraced. Still, Viola did not dare look at Orsino. The duke turned her around slowly and searched her face. “Boy, thou hast said to me a thousand times thou never shouldst love woman like to me.” “And all those saying will I over-swear,” Viola declared. The duke laughed at all they had shared and at how quickly fondness for the boy could turn to love for the woman. “Give me thy hand,” the duke said to Viola. “Let me see thee in thy woman’s weeds.” Viola explained that the sea captain who had rescued her had her clothes. She had heard the captain was being held in prison on an unknown matter at Malvolio’s request. Olivia called at once for her steward. Malvolio was hauled up from the basement, dirty, disheveled, and indignant. “Madam, you have done me wrong!” Malvolio thrust a soiled paper at Olivia. “Pray you, peruse that letter. You must not now deny it is your handwriting.” Olivia read the letter and understood at once what had happened. “Alas, Malvolio, this is not my writing; ’tis Maria’s hand.” The countess called for Sir Toby and Maria and promised Malvolio he could help decide their punishment. It was too late. Maria had finally gotten her wish. A friend stepped forward to say that the pair had eloped. Malvolio, humiliated and unforgiving, stormed away. Olivia decided to make peace with Malvolio later. For the moment, the four lovers had a double wedding feast to celebrate—and the sooner the better! Orsino clapped the boy’s cap back onto Viola’s head. “Cesario, come,” the duke laughed. “For so you shall be, while you are a man. But when in women’s clothing you are seen, Orsino’s mistress and his fancy queen! --Tangyanzixuan —Preceding undated comment added 02:52, 7 June 2010 (UTC).

  1. ^ Jenkins Logan, Thad. The Limits of Festivity. Studies in English Literature 22.2 (Spring, 1982): 224-225. JSTOR. Rice University. 23 March 2009.

Good Mistress Accost[edit]

I assume the sentence asserting Sir Toby provokes Sir Andrew to make sexual overtures towards Maria references Act 1 Scene 3 when Sir Toby says "Accost, Sir Andrew, accost." It's not clear to me that Sir Toby is using accost to speak of sexual solicitation. Rather, in my opinion, Sir Toby is merely prompting Sir Andrew to properly greet Maria but the idiot Sir Andrew misunderstands him. I'm going to remove the relevant sentence. Please revert if I'm reading this wrong. Erroneous01 18:21, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

  • TOBY:Accost is front her, board her, woo her, assail her.
  • ANDREW: By my troth, I would not undertake her in this company. Is that the meaning of Accost? AndyJones 16:23, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
I think the answer is something of both. Andrew is using Accost, as to "greet", Maria. Andrew interprets that as her family name (Mary Accost). However, that misunderstanding also prompts Toby to mock the incompetent Andrew as per AndyJones. Logical2u 13:26, 5 May 2006 (UTC)


Have there been any modern adaptations of this play? If so, what are they?--Light current 18:34, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Ok thats one. I thought there would be many more modern adaptations of such a good stroyline.--Light current 20:29, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

In what way does 12th Night have anyting to do with V for Vendetta? I have looked at the V for Vendetta and V for Vendetta (film) pages and have found no reference to 12th Night there. So how significant exactly are these references?--Tanyushka 23:13, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

  • I agree. The connection quoted (an actress in the film has also acted in the play) is just daft. I've removed it (without prejudice to someone writing something sensible). AndyJones 23:26, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Check Your Own Thing for a 1960s rock musical adaptation. Fitfatfighter 06:20, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

You need to update this page. The film "Just One of the Guys" is an adaptation of 12th Night. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:13, 14 July 2011 (UTC)


Since Pokemon has an article for each character, surely Shakespeare must get the same treatement?

Location of Illyria[edit]

In the article it states that Illyria refers to Albania. Isn't it more in the area of modern Dalmatia?

It certainly is. I've had a go at rewriting the whole "where is Ilyria?" section because the original text says among other things that it didn't refer to a real area in Shakespeare's time, which is plain wrong, and there are arguments for Shakespeare wanting us to think it's set there (regardless of how surreal he then makes it). Agonoid 21:12, 31 December 2006 (UTC)


According to the accompanying interpretation/description of the German Reclam edition, the theory about the origin of Orsino's name is disputed. According to the text, it would have been very inappropriate to name such a character after a nobility present during the performance of the play.

It seems a bit odd this interpretation is presented as a factoid in the introductory section. — Ashmodai (talk · contribs) 23:41, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

I'll go along with that. In fact I'm inclined to delete the entire opening line after the word "Shakespeare". (See below, "Twelfth Night or What You Will")--King Hildebrand 12:07, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
Orsino means Little Bear, but I doubt that that gets us any further.--King Hildebrand 12:07, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Actually, it might; according to my lit. prof. bears in the early modern period were believed to suffer from 'chronic melancholy', as Orsino does. I'm not going to add it just on his word, but he is an expert on early modern phenamonology (whereas I can't even spell it properly). Matveiko 05:30, 6 November 2007 (UTC)


I was wondering if there was anything important about the name "Cesario," as it would be unlike Shakespeare to have a character make up a name with no relevance to what it assigned to. Of course, it could just be a meaningless name, but I haven't found anything for or against it. Commander Regulus 23:18, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

It is unlike Shakespeare to have meaningless names. Stephen Orgel notes that "Cesario" both designates Viola as "belonging to Caesar," and therefore off-limits (I would cite the page if I had the book, Impersonations, handy), as well as "cut" (same root as scissors, scio, etc.), or castrated. That is to say, Viola self-names in sexual frustration. --Jgurd (talk) 18:10, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Twelfth Night or What You Will[edit]

Does anyone understand the origin of the name? The article states, "...named after the Twelfth Night holiday of the Christmas season." Well, there is such a date in the Christian calendar, also known as Epiphany, when tradition has it, the three wise men arrive at Bethlehem to pay their homage to the newborn Jesus. But what has that to do with the play? The action clearly takes place over several days, possibly weeks, none of which can be associated with any particular date on the calendar.

The subtitle, What You Will, suggests that Shakespeare on this occasion was at a loss (perhaps uniquely!) and could not think of any suitable title.

The opening line of the article begs the question, but singularly fails to answer it. As it adds nothing other than doubt and confusion, perhaps the misexplanation should be deleted.--King Hildebrand 12:03, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

This might be a useful source. An Improbable Fiction: J L Lockett --King Hildebrand 12:42, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

According to my English teacher, Twelfth Night, or What You Will was played in front of Queen Elizabeth I on the 12th day of Christmas. By the way, what do you mean "action." The plot of the play was a three month span. --Mayfare 00:11, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Feste's Mysterious Quote[edit]

In Act 5, Scene 1, Feste quotes the following:

"Why, "some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrown upon them..."

Feste did not attend with Sir Toby, Sir Andrew, and Fabian behind a boxtree to see Malvolio read the fake love letter. Feste's quote originated from that fake love letter. Was it a coincidence that Feste read the fake love letter after Malvolio finished reading the letter? Originally, Shakespeare planned Feste to attend with Sir Toby and Sir Andrew to see Malvolio reading the fake love letter. However, at the time that Fabian, Sir Toby, and Sir Andrew were watching Malvolio reading the fake love letter, Feste was entertaining Duke Orsino. Or did Shakespeare forget to change Feste's lines? May it also be something else different? --Mayfare 21:09, 10 April 2007 (UTC)do you like to look at yourself in the mirror after you get out of the shower?

Hey, Feste is in on the whole prank pulled on Malvolio. He is the one that disguises himself as a priest to visit Malvolio after he is locked up for being mad. The others could have shown him the letter or told him about the letter. (But yes, there may have been some rewrites that didn't get completely fixed.)--KEVP —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:53, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

There is evidence that Feste know alot more than is given, that he sees through Cesario's disguise at once. Indeed in the Lumm's move version, he spots a shipwrecked Viola landing on the shore. --Imagine Wizard (talk contribs count) Iway amway Imagineway Izardway. 17:41, 11 January 2010 (UTC)


I'm trying to get some comments for a proposed guideline about titles with subtitles. I would appreciate any comments over at WP:Village pump (policy)/Archive 16#WP:SUBTITLES. Thanks! superlusertc 2007 December 23, 08:38 (UTC)

Viola as eunuch[edit]

Although Viola did mention that she would go into service as a castrato (eunuch) it is highly unlikely that she did that, from evidence of the text. Firstly, that would make the jealousy of the Duke in Act V ludicrous. Why would the Duke be jealous of a castrated man? Secondly, clearly in the capacity of a castrato it would be pointless for Olivia to pine for Viola-Cesario as a husband. Hence it is pretty clear that either Viola (or Shakespeare) has changes in thoughts concerning her means of disguise. I have made the changes. (talk) 07:20, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Are you suggesting that no eunuch has ever married, and that it is impossible that one ever should? Twelfth Night seems to focus on emotional love, not sexual. (talk) 05:50, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
In the context of Elizabethan England, it seems wilful to suggest anyone would. As for mere platonic love, again it seems unlikely given the fact Olivia hardly knows either Cesario or Sebastian, given the short time she knows either. (talk) 13:25, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

"Hard graft is put in by their servants"[edit]

This interpretation, currently adorning the lede, certainly can be read into the supplied reference, which also deals, separately, with the play's subtitle What You Will. It seems, however, to be stretching things to declare that the "Hard graft is put in by their servants" is an alternative meaning of What You Will: linking the two topics is synthesis and not in the original. Propose deletion. --Old Moonraker (talk) 13:52, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

Done. --Old Moonraker (talk) 05:26, 16 June 2010 (UTC)

review of 2009 production in NYC Central Park Delacorte Theater[edit]

If you want to write about the 2009 production in NYC Central Park Delacorte Theater, here's a review: I Love You, You’re Perfect. You’re a Girl?' by Charles Isherwood 2009-06-26 New York Times Jodi.a.schneider (talk) 16:37, 1 August 2010 (UTC)

"Influence" section[edit]

I am not the ideal contributor to assess this section, being a little out of touch with such modern concepts as "a future where the human race has expanded and inhabits a multitude of planets", one of the current links. While completely accepting that Shakespeare was a poet for all time, I think that, even so, this connexion may be a little tenuous. Anybody want to put me right, before I start a heavy trim there? --Old Moonraker (talk) 13:22, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

As a further indication of the need for other editors' input on this, I have just been upbraided on my talk page for failing to find a connection between Twelfth Night and Les Mains Sale, Jean-Paul Sartre's tale of political assassination in a war-time "ally of Nazi Germany on the verge of being annexed to the Eastern Bloc". --Old Moonraker (talk) 14:00, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

"The Twelfth Night"?[edit]

I noticed that some websites like this Quote Garden called Shakespeare's Twelfth Night as The Twelfth Night. I'm getting confused! Is "The Twelfth Night" just a mislabeling or something?! --Angeldeb82 (talk) 20:29, 10 November 2011 (UTC)