Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night


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"A quite wonderful ideaSo blindingly obvious, I can't understand why nobody had thought of it before. I will certainly use the texts myself."— Sir Peter Hall

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781854596222
Publisher: Theatre Communications Group
Publication date: 09/01/2004
Series: The Shakespeare Folios Series
Pages: 210
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in April 1564, and his birth is traditionally celebrated on April 23. The facts of his life, known from surviving documents, are sparse. He was one of eight children born to John Shakespeare, a merchant of some standing in his community. William probably went to the King’s New School in Stratford, but he had no university education. In November 1582, at the age of eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway, eight years his senior, who was pregnant with their first child, Susanna. She was born on May 26, 1583. Twins, a boy, Hamnet ( who would die at age eleven), and a girl, Judith, were born in 1585. By 1592 Shakespeare had gone to London working as an actor and already known as a playwright. A rival dramatist, Robert Greene, referred to him as “an upstart crow, beautified with our feathers.” Shakespeare became a principal shareholder and playwright of the successful acting troupe, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men (later under James I, called the King’s Men). In 1599 the Lord Chamberlain’s Men built and occupied the Globe Theater in Southwark near the Thames River. Here many of Shakespeare’s plays were performed by the most famous actors of his time, including Richard Burbage, Will Kempe, and Robert Armin. In addition to his 37 plays, Shakespeare had a hand in others, including Sir Thomas More and The Two Noble Kinsmen, and he wrote poems, including Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece. His 154 sonnets were published, probably without his authorization, in 1609. In 1611 or 1612 he gave up his lodgings in London and devoted more and more time to retirement inStratford, though he continued writing such plays as The Tempest and Henry VII until about 1613. He died on April 23 1616, and was buried in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford. No collected edition of his plays was published during his life-time, but in 1623 two members of his acting company, John Heminges and Henry Condell, put together the great collection now called the First Folio.

Date of Death:


Place of Birth:

Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom

Place of Death:

Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom

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Twelfth Night 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 62 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I used this copy of Twelfth Night for my Shakespeare class, and it was far superior to the edition the professor had chosen. The text is printed on the right page and notes appear on the left. The trade paperback provides room for a decent sized font and room for notes in the margins. The notes themselves are invaluable to understanding the play, and the extended notes and commentary in the back (illustrations of the stage, notes on modernization of text...) are interesting as well as informative. This rivals texts that are twice the price.
ArneyT More than 1 year ago
Every B&N Shakespeare has been awesome and this is no exception. Nice, clear text, helpful notations, and interesting articles. Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just have to say that I laughed when I saw the comment that said, 'So many typos!' Obviously, they do not understand Shakespeare's language. This book is absolutely wonderful. I most definitely recommend  this for students in high school through college. Maybe middle school though it's a very small chance they will understand the concept and comedy. As always, Twelfth Night is underrated by critics. A true classic!!
Clif on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I listened to this play a year ago and forgot to add to my Library Thing list. So the plot isn't fresh in my mind. I do remember that the plot is quite complicated with numerous mistaken identities, disguises and switching of roles. The plot is so convoluted that I recommend drafting a chart to keep track of the characters and their multiple identities. There is a mean joke played on a Puritan character in the play which was probably funny to 16th Century theater audiences. However, I fou...more I listened to this play a year ago and forgot to add to my Goodreads list. So the plot isn't fresh in my mind. I do remember that the plot is quite complicated with numerous mistaken identities, disguises and switching of roles. The plot is so convoluted that I recommend drafting a chart to keep track of the characters and their multiple identities. There is a mean joke played on a Puritan character in the play which was probably funny to 16th Century theater audiences. However, I found it to be cruel and not very funny. Read in December, 2007
fufuakaspeechless on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love this play. Shakespeare's comedies are very enjoyable.
Anduril85 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this book with my girlfriend and it was ok but not one of my most liked books ever. At times it's a little hard to understand if you don't have the spark notes or some other translation like it, but if you like plays and have never read it I recommend it to you, for everyone else you.
ncgraham on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My relationship with the Bard¿s works began when, at the tender age of six, I went to a Shakespeare in the Park performance of Much Ado About Nothing and had the time of my life. Since then, it¿s been up and down at times with me and Will, as I¿ve been alternately befuddled, entranced, delighted, disturbed, and moved by his handiwork. It was only last year, however, that I really began reading his plays in earnest—up until then, my exposure had been limited solely to films and live performances. I've been taking them slowly, picking up a play as the inclination strikes, and not following any particular order.Despite the fact that it is critically regarded as one of Shakespeare's best and most advanced comedies, I have to say that so far Twelfth Night is my least favorite of the lot. I¿m hoping it¿s not because it was assigned for a class, when all the others I picked up of my own volition. Either way, I found I couldn¿t connect to any of these characters, neither when I read the play nor when I watched the 1996 Trevor Nunn film (and let me tell you, if Helena Bonham Carter can¿t make me feel for Olivia, no one can). They made for an interesting group to observe— not the uninvolved, almost scientific word. There is no Puck or Rosalind or Beatrice or Shylock to give this comedy some sort of heart or animating spirit. Viola and Feste come closest, simply because they are vehicles for some of Shakespeare's best poetry and wordplay—but even then, the language is more interesting than its bearers. Indeed, I would say this play is most interesting when looked at mostly for how it uses language and what it has to say about it.The critics are right in commending Twelfth Night for its clever wordplay and complex social vision, but to my mind Much Ado About Nothing and A Midsummer Night¿s Dream are far more entertaining, and The Merchant of Venice deeper.
kant1066 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this in preparation for going to see an upcoming production of this play put on by "Shakespeare in the Park" that's going to be playing June 1st through the 4th of this year in the Botanical Gardens. Considering the myriad summaries and expositions of this play, I won't recapitulate those here. What I will do, both for my personal use and for the remote possibility that someone else might find some use in them, is post my own thoughts and notes I took as I read it. Hopefully they'll serve as an aide memoire if I ever need one.ACT I: Overall themes: identity (masque?), rejection, and desire. It asks whether or not love is something real, or just another human artifice, much like the music that Count Orsino "feeds" on. Orsino's switch of affection from Olivia to Viola is a hint that he loves the idea of love more than one of the women themselves. He's a parody of the hopeless romantic. Viola's wish to be transformed into a eunuch is indicative of gender liminality - or at least this seems to be a common argument, even though it's readily known that men played all roles in Elizabethan and Jacobean theater (so I'm a little confused by the single-minded focus that much modern scholarship has put on gender in this play). Perhaps this gender ambiguity is a sort of defense mechanism to deal with the uncertainty inherent with being tossed on an unknown island. There has also been some focus on Orsino's shift of affection toward Viola (Cesario) from a platonic friendship to a more romantic one. (Could our more modern emotional coldness associated with masculinity be coloring this reading, too?) Feste is obviously one of the cleverest people in the play. "Cucullus non facit monachum" indeed! As a critique of courtly love, this act accomplishes a lot, and Feste comes out being one of the least foolish people on the stage.ACT II: Malvolio (literally, from the Latin, "ill will"), the only character who takes himself much too seriously, is tricked into the tomfoolery that he himself so deplores, ultimately proving Feste right: it's not just the role of the fool to entertain folly.ACT III: Even though, considering Malvolio's transformation from joy-hating blowhard into romantic lover is a drastic one, that Olivia thinks him mad might be telling. Is there any room here for a sort of Foucauldian discussion of what constitutes "madness and civilization" in Elizabethan England? From the little that I've seen of the scholarly literature, I haven't yet seen any discussions that run along these lines.
MrsLee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Shipwrecked siblings, love-struck Dukes and Duchesses, silly servants and misplaced affections. I enjoyed this very much. No one does confusion of identity as well as Shakespeare, and when it's one of his comedies, there is always a happy ending.
Othemts on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My favorite Shakespearean comedy (partially because I portrayed Sir Toby in a high school production) with the perfect mix of witty dialogue, physical humor and characterization.
vgnunez on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this play in high school. I immediately connected with Viola who hid her true identity (and her emotions) from society. Though modern critics look at (and/or analyze) the story's use of homosexuality and gender/sexual politics, I can't break from my initial path of loving the story for Viola's strength in hiding her identity and love.
HippieLunatic on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
There is brilliance in this play, as there is in all of Shakespeare's work... but...Well, this one doesn't live up to the others, at least not in the reading of the script. I could not attach myself to any of the characters, and while I often have to reread the words and the footnotes to gain any understanding of the plot, this one felt hollow to me, even after I could grasp what was going on.The brilliance comes in much of the twisting of words and understandings of phrases. Shakespeare was a wordsmith, there is no doubt about that.... but most of the time, I feel like he was also incredibly connected to his characters, his audience, his stories. This one felt flimsy to me.
redg18 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Honestly, I am not all that into reading plays. However, I am so into gender-bender that I had to read 12th night. The whole idea of a girl dressing up as a boy and fooling everyone is so interesting to me. The thing that put me off from this book was the fact that the emotions that the characters were feeling were not as evident just from reading this play. I mean, it was like saying "I feel that I love you". It is not as moving as if the author had described what the feeling is. For some reason, I loved Julius Cesar, Othello, and sort of liked "As you like it". So maybe I am just not into this story that much.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
How can you buy the book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hehe. Should we advertise?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Got a Clan. Gtg. Bbl.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He growls and slaps bloodnights nuzzle, hen slashes his forehead blinding her with her own blood. "Shut up you mouse brain. Your lucky. We'll be back!" He swears and pads out after xalling his patrol.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
[Two questions: 1)who's my mentor(sorry, I forgot) 2)can you look at my question? You'll have to scroll down a bit to find it though]
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She ran away back to her cl befiretheh did that.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great version of the text. The images from various films help students to think about the play as performance. Gayle Gaskill's additions are particularly beneficial and interesting. Best option for Twelfth Night!
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