Shakespeare's Twelfth Night Study Guide

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All you need to know about William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night is in this advanced guide to the text. Connell Guides are advanced guide books that offer sophisticated analysis and broad critical perspectives for higher-level GCSE and A Level English Literature students. Written by leading academics, Connell Guides are clear, concise and beautifully designed to help students understand, and enjoy, great works of literature. They are perfect for coursework, revision and exam preparation. Connell Guides are also great reads themselves scholarly, yet approachable and entertaining.

There is no evidence that Twelfth Night was especially popular in Shakespeare's day, but it is now widely seen as his greatest romantic comedy. Among its fans is the American academic Stephen Booth, who judges it to be one of the most beautiful man-made things in the world. In this short book, the distinguished Shakespearian critic David Schalkwyk argues that in Twelfth Night Shakespeare achieved an unmatched blend of erotic lyricism and festive laughter, edgy satire and romantic melancholy. With its main plot involving unrequited desire and loss of identity, and its parallel sub-plot of household jealousy and cruel gulling, it is, says Schalkwyk, as multi-faceted as any well-cut jewel.

ISBN-paperback: 978-1-907776-98-4

Introduction

A summary of the plot What is Twelfth Night about?

What does Twelfth Night tell us about love?

Is Orsino a “narcissistic fool”?

What makes Viola so beguiling?

What makes the scene between Olivia and Viola so powerful and moving?

What does Twelfth Night tell us about the nature of identity?

What should we make of Antonio’s relationship with Sebastian?

Why does the taunting of Malvolio make us uncomfortable?

Does Feste embody the spirit of Twelfth Night?

Who does Orsino want to kill?

Where does Shakespeare leave us at the end of Twelfth Night?

NOTES
Sources 
The title
Music
Narcissus
Desire
Illyria
Twins
Two sonnets
Ten facts about Twelfth Night
Clothes
Sir Andrew
Fools
Word play
Death and disease
Bibliography

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