Twelfth Night

The Sexuality of Service, the Female Relationship, and Freaky Family Connections in Twelfth Night 12th Grade

Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night has a host of characters: a cross-dressing woman, an uppity, lower-class servant, a quick-witted, tricky gentlewoman, a rowdy, vulgar nobleman and his misguided friend. With so many characters to keep track of, an array of relationships comes into play as well. Some of the more prominent relationships discussed concern the alliance of women––specifically Olivia and Maria, the bond between Viola and Sebastian and their deceased father, and the connection between love and service. The bond between Maria and Olivia is examined in “Female Alliance and the Construction of Homoeroticism in As You Like It and Twelfth Night” by Jessica Tvordi. “Missing Fathers: Twelfth Night and the Reformation of Mourning” by Suzanne Penuel discusses the differences and similarities in Viola’s and Sebastian’s use of their dead father’s social status in their new home. Finally, “Love and Service in Twelfth Night and the Sonnets” by David Schalkwyk delves into the love that is formed between servants and their masters in the play and how service leads to intimate relationships.

The relationship between Maria and Olivia is analyzed in Tvordi’s “Female Alliance” as being one that is based on social needs. Tvordi discusses how...

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