twelfth night

Twelfth Night

When Feste sings "Youth's a stuff will not endure" he reiterates the carpe-diem motif in his own way, but what Shakespeare actually gives him is a new idiom that is straigth-forward through tremendously witty and philosophical without being too pedantic. Viola disguised as Cesario dominates the stage with her vibrant energy and sheer spontaneity. Malvolio takes the audience by surprise as does the intriguing "transformation" of Feste into Sir Topas the curate. The alternative title of the play "What You Will" is suggestive enough in removing the strict frame(s) in which one may think of confining Twelfth Night. The Feast of Epiphany and the rituals associated with it are significant codes for a play that develops the clear distinction between affection and true love in the never-never land of Illyria. Twelfth Night acknowledges the "cakes and ale" issue and enables the audience to re-define the genre of Shakespearean comedy.

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His extant works, including some collaborations, consist of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, the authorship of some of which is uncertain. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.