William Shakespeare Upgrade to A + Intro Plot Summary Summary & Analysis Themes Quotes Characters Symbols Lit Devices Theme Wheel Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Twelfth Night can help. Everything you need for every book you read. "Sooo much more helpful than SparkNotes.
Twelfth Night is sometimes called a "transvestite comedy" for the obvious reason that its central character is a young woman, Viola, who disguises herself as a pageboy, Cesario. In Shakespeare's time, Viola's part, like all the parts in Twelfth Night, would have been played by a man, because women were not allowed to act.
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Twelfth Night Summary Viola, separated from her twin Sebastian, dresses as a boy and works for the Duke Orsino, whom she falls in love with. Orsino is in love with the Countess Olivia, and sends Viola to court her for him, but Olivia falls for Viola instead. Sebastian arrives, causing a flood of mistaken identity, and marries Olivia.
Full Book Summary In the kingdom of Illyria, a nobleman named Orsino lies around listening to music, pining away for the love of Lady Olivia. He cannot have her because she is in mourning for her dead brother and refuses to entertain any proposals of marriage. Meanwhile, off the coast, a storm has caused a terrible shipwreck.
Summary Full Book Analysis Twelfth Night is a play about desire’s power to override conventions of class, religion, and even gender. Several characters begin the play believing they want one thing, only to have love teach them they actually want something else. Orsino thinks he wants Olivia, until he falls in love with Viola (dressed as Cesario.)