Twelfth Night

The Dark Side of Twelfth Night

In Twelfth Night, Shakespeare creates a duality between the worlds of the nobility and its associates and the said "outsiders." There is a great element of selfishness involved in the actions of the characters deemed "in" as they peruse through the play drunk on love or alcohol and immersed in their personal agendas. Whether it is Olivia, Orsino, Viola, and Sebastian wrapped up in their love entanglement or Sir Toby, Maria, Feste, and Fabian concocting malevolent plots, there is the sense that everyone is out for themselves and that most of the humor comes at the unfortunate expense of someone else. Characters that are not in on the schemes contrived by the influential figures are somehow manipulated or played by these schemes eventually. Due to the humorous qualities of Viola's disguise, Malvolio's presumptuousness, and Sir Andrew's foolishness, a lot of the harsh overtones of the play are lost in its complex and funny nature. Also, the rapid, quick-moving pace that facilitates Twelfth Night works to divert the audience's attention away from the used and abused characters that haunt the plot. Appropriately, the play concludes with much emphasis paid to the comedic resolution of the love...

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