The full title of the play is Twelfth Night, or What You Will.Subtitles for plays were fashionable in the Elizabethan era, and though some editors place The Merchant of Venice ' s alternative title, The Jew of Venice, as a subtitle, this is the only Shakespeare play to bear one when first published.
First staged in 1602, Twelfth Night is one of Shakespeare’s most performed plays. Read a character analysis of Viola, plot summary, and important quotes.
Twelfth Night, as with many of Shakespeare's comedies, employs cross-dressing as a narrative technique. When Viola disguises her identity, the situation creates a sexual mess: she falls in love with Orsino but cannot tell him, because he thinks she is a man, while Olivia, the object of Orsino’s affection, falls for Viola in her guise as Cesario.
Get all the key plot points of William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night on one page. From the creators of SparkNotes.
While carousing with Olivia’s fool Feste late one night, they quarrel with Malvolio, and with the help of Olivia’s maid Maria, they decide to trick him. Maria writes a letter to Malvolio, forging Olivia’s handwriting, to make Malvolio think Olivia loves him.
Twelfth Night Shakespeare's Second Period: Exploring Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night, As You Like It, The Merchant of Venice, Romeo and Juliet and the Histories Introduction to Shakespeare's Malvolio Introduction to Shakespeare's Feste Spiritual Grace: An Examination of Viola from Twelfth Night