Analyzing Themes in William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night Essay

Analyzing Themes in William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night Essay

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William Shakespeare, an English writer in the seventeenth century. He is considered to be the most influential writer in English literature. He wrote various genres, but the common types he wrote were: Tragedies, Comedies, and Histories. Among the many plays he wrote he wrote one his most famous play, “Twelfth Night”, which he wrote during the middle of his career. “Twelfth Night” is considered to be one of Shakespeare’s greatest comedies that he has written. In addition to it is also the only play that he wrote that has an alternate title which is called, “Twelfth Night, or What You Will”. By analyzing the themes presented in the play: Actions of love, Gender, and madness, helps show what Shakespeare conveyed about love.
In the play, one of the major themes presented was love. This play is a romantic comedy so it would apparent that the idea of romantic love would be the main focus. Even though the ending of the play is a happy ending, Shakespeare showed that even though love can be a blissful thing, it can also be a painful one. The characters in the play do certain actions that cause pain not only to themselves, but also other characters. Love is almost seen as a curse. In David Schalkwyk’s article, he states that, “[C]oncept: that is to say, it has no single, core meaning in all of its separate uses” (David Schalkwyk 76). In other words love has different meanings to each person. Which can lead a person into doing something drastic just because they in love. Thus resulting in the character either to be in pain due to being in love or make another character suffer because of their actions. In the play Orsino, the duke of Illyria, describes love as “[F]ell and cruel hounds, / E’er since pursue me.” (Twelfth Night. Act I. Sce...


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...Hopkins) 43.2 (2003): 375.Academic Search Complete. Web. 4 Dec. 2013.
Biewer, Carolin. "The Semantics Of Passion In Shakespeare's Comedies: An Interdisciplinary Study." English Studies 88.5 (2007): 506-521. Academic Search Complete. Web. 4 Dec. 2013.
Daalder, Joost. "Perspectives Of Madness In Twelfth Night." English Studies 78.2 (1997): 105. Academic Search Complete. Web. 4 Dec. 2013.
Lindheim, Nancy. "Rethinking Sexuality And Class In "Twelfth Night.." University Of Toronto Quarterly 76.2 (2007): 679-713.Academic Search Complete. Web. 4 Dec. 2013.
Schalkwyk, David. "Love And Service In Twelfth Night And The Sonnets." Shakespeare Quarterly 56.1 (2005): 76-100. Academic Search Complete. Web. 4 Dec. 2013.
Shakespeare, William. “Twelfth Night, or What You Will.” The Norton Anthology of English Literature. 9th ed. Vol B. New York: W.W. Norton &, 2012. 1189-1250 Print.

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