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Twelfth Night Study Guide

Twelfth Night Study Guide



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Published by Saddleback
Thirty-five reproducible activities per guide reiforce basic reading and comprehension skills while teaching higher-order critical thinking. Also included are teaching suggestions, background notes, summaries, and answer keys.
Thirty-five reproducible activities per guide reiforce basic reading and comprehension skills while teaching higher-order critical thinking. Also included are teaching suggestions, background notes, summaries, and answer keys.

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Publish date: Jan 1, 2011
Added to Scribd: Nov 24, 2010
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reservedISBN:9781602918993
List Price: $17.95 Buy Now


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erickibler reviewed this
Rated 5/5
I reread the play as I'll be appearing in it this summer as Sir Toby Belch. Ah, what fun!

Shakespeare fact: most directors these days cut Shakespeare's plays down to a reasonable two hours for performance. That will be the case for the production I'm in. I'll miss the double-talk conversations between Sir Toby and the Clown, and some of the "mistaken identity" humor involving male/female twins Sebastian and Viola. Although I can see why the director removed this stuff. In the former case, the invented references to phony experts like "Qeuebus" (God, would I have loved saying "Qeuebus"!) would have been indistinguishable from other archaic references, thereby causing confusion to the average theater goer. In the latter case, the humorous situations are often repetitive.

Cutting Shakespeare is nothing new. David Garrick, an actor and director who was a friend of Samuel Johnson, used to do it routinely in the 18th century.
maureene87 reviewed this
Rated 5/5
I was in a Shakespeare course in London, so I had the chance to revisit this play. The Nigel Hawthorne/Ben Kingsley/Toby Stephens film version has long been a favorite of mine, but the play itself is even better! (I also saw a lovely production while in London, which certainly helped.) One of my favorite Shakespeare plays. (Jan 2010)
a_reader_of_fictions reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Usually, I give manga versions of classics a wide berth. Though I love classics and manga, I find that the combination does not generally flatter either. However, Twelfth Night is my favorite play and the cover art looked promising, so I decided to give it a go. I am so glad I did! It is completely silly and entirely delightful.

This version of the play has a steampunk feel to it, which just takes something awesome and makes it better. Orsino has a car, Antonio wears a pirate's eye-patch and the clothing is completely wild. Most of the men go about either shirtless (with an open coat of course) or with tufts of chest hair coming out the top of their low cut tops. Malvolio, when cross-gartered, looks like some sort of crazy S&M guy. Olivia wears a dress that goes down only to her knees.

So yeah, it's kind of ridiculous, but so is the play really. I mean, there is crossdressing, cases of mistaken identity, absurd sword fights, tempests and sudden declarations of love (despite supposedly having been deeply in love with others). Actually, all of these ridiculous, but hugely delightful plots, are what make this play such perfect fodder for manga. If you've ever read manga, you know what I'm talking about.

Nana Li did a great job with the illustrations. I especially loved Orsino with his emo haircut. Too perfect! Maria, one of my favorites, has been drawn in such a manner that her spunk is entirely evident. Shakespeare fans, this is incredibly nerdy and hugely amusing!
emcarso1 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
What can one really say negative about Shakespeare? Any of his writings are simply a classic. However, this would not be my favourite of his works, it's simply a bit too ridiculous for my personal taste - I know Shakespeare's audience would have loved it. Boy loves Girl, another Girl (2) is stranded and decides to cross-dress to be near Boy, Boy sends Girl 2 to persuade Girl 1 of his love who in turn falls in love with cross-dressing Girl 2. Then Girl 2's twin brother shows up and causes chaos and in the end Boy 2 ends up with Girl 1 and Boy 1 with cross-dressing Girl 2, not questioning her cross-dressing for a second
alanwpowers reviewed this
Rated 5/5
Here Shakespeare borrows as so often in his comedies, from Plautus for the overarching plot--the separated siblings, the twinning (recall his Errors, and the Menaechmi), the arrival from sea. But he adds so much as to make it unrecognizable as a Roman comedy. He adds an attractive drunk, Sir Toby, who fleeces a silly aristocrat who--perhaps alone in literature-- knows himself to be silly. He adds, for instance, a parody of Renaissance psychiatry (well, more theology, but since "psyche" in Greek is both "soul" and "mind," that's fair) practiced on Shakespeare's only American. Instead of the common psyche ward question, "What does 'the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence' mean to you?" Feste as Reverend Psychiatrist asks, "What is the opinion of Pythagoras concerning the soul?" Remember, you can't get out of the psyche ward unless you answer right. Well, Malvolio DOES get it right, he hits it out of the park, but Feste keeps him in lockdown anyway. Why?Herein lies a tale. Malvolio is portrayed as stark raving mad simply because he wants to marry the boss's daughter--or really, the boss herself. A crazy idea. An American idea, one that would take a couple centuries and a Revolution to be accepted by anybody at all. Those rejects on the other side of the Atlantic.Yes, Malvolio is Shakespeare's only American (except possibly Othello?). And he is indeed, as he himself pleads at plays end, notoriously abused. He vows revenge on the whole pack--which we, as delighted playgoers, cannot support, though justice, and America, are on his side.
julesjones_1 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
BBC Radio 3 full cast production, first broadcast in 1998, and presented on 2 CDs. I bought this one because of the Blake's 7 interest, as Josette Simon plays Olivia. While it's an enjoyable performance, I would have been hard put to it to follow what was going on without previous knowledge of the plot from seeing the play on stage. Fortunately there's a good synopsis booklet included in the box.
kant1066 reviewed this
Rated 5/5
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.
hippielunatic reviewed this
Rated 4/5
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_1 reviewed this
Rated 2/5
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.
ncgraham_1 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
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.

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