Twelfth Night



Viola is in love with Orsino.  Orsino is in love with Olivia.  Olivia is in love with Viola. Malvolio is in love with Olivia.  Antonio is in love with Sebastian. Sebastian is in love with Olivia.  Maria is in love with Sir Toby.  Sir Toby is in love with beer. (Here is where you say, “Love sucks!”)

But to complicate the situation — Viola (for personal reasons) has been dressing like a boy.  Sebastian is Viola’s twin brother.  Olivia (in love with Viola) takes one look at Sebastian and — well, you should watch the movie!

Twelfth Night is a farcical comedy, written by William Shakespeare in around 1601. It is a perfect play for the celebrations of Twelfth Night (January 6th) which mark the end of the Christmas season. Role reversals, mummers and merry-making were the Elizabethan order of the day. The Lord of Misrule came to rule. Servants were masters and masters were servants.  The play’s full title was ‘Twelfth Night or What You Will’, seemingly because Twelfth Night is a night to do precisely what you personally will.

I still say The Shakes was way ahead of his time, constantly delving into themes of gender identity, cross-dressing and homoerotic love, centuries before they ever became political or civil rights issues.

If you have never seen Twelfth Night, you are in for a treat! This 1988 version, made for television and produced by Kenneth Branagh is one of my favorites. Running time is about 2.5 hours. Hope you get the chance to watch it, or — do What You Will!




18 comments on “Twelfth Night

  1. A good primer on this very confusing love story.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One of my favourite plays, bittersweet and gently anarchic. Not seen the Branagh one so thanks for the heads up …

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Vicky V says:

    Wow, you’ve inspired me to watch the movie. Having never read the play, I didn’t know it had so many twists and turns. I also didn’t know that Twelfth Night celebrations were so radical. Makes me think of Mardi Gras 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, I read the first paragraph and realized you were talking about being in love, someone being in love with beer, and saying “love sucks” – and realized the connection to that beer commercial I just posted about yesterday. This is my first time reading this! Crazy coincidence or we are on a similar wavelength with this one. Must be a Stein supporter thing 😂

    *Freud interjects* “Darryl, you probably peaked at the first part of Christine’s piece a few days ago, and told yourself you’d return later on, but the contents of her piece remained in your subconscious, thus priming you and causing you to post about a somewhat similar point”. Lol!

    But anywho, thanks for the introduction here Christine! I like that your work is often history based as it pertains to a specific day ☺

    Liked by 1 person

    • You know, when I read your piece and watched the beer commercial, I had forgotten all about having written this! Yes, the beer has the same role in both writings! (Sir Toby is the comical character that would rather drink and make merry than ever be serious. About anything, let alone women, haha!) We can tell Mr. Freud we are on the same wavelength.

      I do have a thing for days, months, seasons, history… so yeah that comes out in these (nerdy!) posts. Glad you like them 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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