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GCSE: Twelfth Night

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 1
  1. how Shakespeare uses disguise to suit his comic purpose

    Come, my young soldier, put up you iron: you are well fleshed come on!" However Olivia brakes it up just as they are going to duel. Twelfth Night is as much about love and revenge as about disguise. We can see this at the end of the play when Orsino marries Viola and Olivia marries Sebastian. At the start of the play however Orsino and Olivia pretend to have love. We know it is pretend love because Olivia does not normally wear black and she vows to wear black for seven years and also Orsino doesn't normally song love songs but he does, " O spirit of love, how quick and fresh art thou" Orsino singing like this shows us that he is not in real love but ion pretend love.

    • Word count: 4347
  2. A close, critical analysis of Shakespeare's 'Twelfth Night' with regard to relating a particular extract to the play as a whole through the play's key themes

    The extract itself is taken from the end of the scene; Feste has just exited and Viola - alone on stage - delivers her lines of blank verse as a soliloquy to the audience. The speech at first seems to refer to her recent and uncomfortable encounter with Feste, but also reflects on other ideas including the two key themes of the play. Moreover, when actually delivered in a production, in my opinion the actress could interpret these lines in a variety of different ways and subsequently speak to mean different things.

    • Word count: 4027
  3. Examine the ways in which Shakespeare creates comedy for the audience in Act 3 Scene 4 of Twelfth Night

    Viola, thinking her brother is dead, dresses as a man and takes the name Cesario to work for the love-sick Duke Orsino, who is constantly pining for the affection of the grieving Lady Olivia. Olivia, mourning the death of her brother, promptly falls in love with Cesario when 'he' comes to woo her for 'his' Lord, thus showing the fickleness of love. Obviously, Viola (or Cesario) does not desire Olivia's love, but actually longs for Orsino. Meanwhile, it becomes known to the audience that Sebastian has been rescued by a sailor, Antonio.

    • Word count: 5968
  4. Twelfth Night has been described as a play of contrast-light and darkness; humour and seriousness; excess and poverty; appearance and reality. What do you learn about Shakespeare's society, and his idea about society, through these contrast.

    The only people that could get away with questioning their masters were jesters, like Feste, one of Shakespeare's characters symbolising appearance against reality. Feste spoke to Olivia in any manner he pleased, because they thought his intention was to be comical; but sometimes Feste took advantage of this opportunity to be honest, and no one ever questioned him, except Malvolio a puritan. In the 16th century, puritans, like Malvolio wanted to close the theatre, because they believed people shouldn't have a good time.

    • Word count: 3021

    Malvolio, of course, with his egotistical nature, when he finds the letter in his path, sealed with Olivia's wax seal, immediately thinks the "dearly beloved" refers to him, & that the letter is from Olivia. He, of course, opens it. He consequently follows the instructions Maria has written & behaves quite unhinged, - completely humiliating himself. Maria however, & Sir Toby, Sir Andrew, Feste & Fabian, who are all in on the plot, do not however stop there. They all go out of their way to completely ruin Malvolio's life.

    • Word count: 3913
  6. Choose 2 scenes in Twelfth Night and state how you would direct them

    Olivia tries hard to achieve her goals (even when she fails), and gives a sense of stubbornness towards her 'love' for Viola (Cesario). Therefore, I have chosen to direct these two scenes. Firstly, Act 2 Scene 4. For this scene, it could be summarized as a comic scene with Sir Toby, Sir Andrew, Maria and Feste having fun amongst them. Then, Malvolio, the puritan comes in, and spoils their fun, insulting them and getting them to be orderly and serious (like himself).

    • Word count: 4973
  7. Although 'Twelfth Night' is a happy comedy, there is a great deal of hurt in this play. In your opinion, should the audience be satisfied with the outcome? Discuss.

    Her concerns and worries mean that Viola is considerate to others and selfless in ways that she does not want to hurt anyone. In the play, this is shown in her feminine physique, though she portrays a stronger, more man like, character as Cesario. Olivia, the Lady of the house, has a large involvement during this play, as she is centre of the unrequited love triangle, and not to her own familiarity, is a part of the gag that she is in love with Malvolio. Though Olivia's contribution is mainly comical, the audience do witness a poignant personality in her.

    • Word count: 3579
  8. An exploration of the contribution of disguise and deceit to the humour of 'Twelfth Night'

    An Elizabethan audience Anna Carlisle would also recognise that Malvolio is not of noble blood and a noblewomen, like Olivia, would not marry below her status. They would find it quite amusing that Malvolio would even think that marrying Olivia is possible and would enjoy Malvolio disguising the Shakespearean class system from himself. The language Malvolio uses while daydreaming about Olivia, emphasise his self-importance: He repeatedly uses the words 'I', 'Me' and 'My' eg: 'She may command me: I serve her'; 'She manifests herself to my love;' 'I thank my stars, I am happy' Malvolio also speaks without pausing between

    • Word count: 3244
  9. English Coursework Essay: Views on love from Twelfth Night

    "Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there,". Orsino compares his love to the sea, and says that it's much bigger than a anything else could possibly be and like the sea, when u drop something into it, it just disappears, just as he sees his love for Olivia is, nothing will make a difference to it. The hyperbole he uses in his speech could be Shakespeare's way of showing us how sure and full of himself Orsino is, exuding arrogance in something like love, which is supposed to be very modest.

    • Word count: 3470
  10. Discuss the different types of love presented in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.

    'The element, till seven years', heat shall not behold her face at ample view'. This quote tells us that, Olivia is using the 'death of her brother' as an excuse not to love Orsino, as she will not see anyone till seven years has past. The type of love highlighted in this scene is called 'unrequited' love (love that is not given back when loved). After listening to that excuse Orsino continues to reveal that how much Olivia will love him totally.

    • Word count: 4166
  11. By referring to two or three scenes in the play, write about how Shakespeare creates dramatic intrigue in Twelfth night, through plot, character and language.

    I will discuss Shakespeare's use of language and ideas that prove this, throughout my work. In order to engage the Elizabethans, Shakespeare's target audience at the time twelfth night was written, among other things he uses dramatic intrigue. The plot, characters and language all being contributing factors. Today, even though the language is interpreted differently, the audience of the 21st century still appreciate Twelfth Nights eternal qualities such as the creative and almost complex plot structure, interesting characters and language including: puns, irony and hyperbole.

    • Word count: 3641
  12. Consider the ways in which love, obsession and disguise inform our understanding of the characters actions in Act 1 Scene 1, Act 1 Scene 5, and Act 2 Scene 5 in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.

    The only other character affected by love, obsession and disguise is Malvolio. He is obsessed with the idea of class and Olivia we see this when he says "To be Count Malvolio!" He is in love with himself, and disguises his feelings for Olivia. Act 1 Scene 1 is mostly exposition. For example it makes the audience anticipate Olivia's entrance when Orsino says "Her sweet perfections." But we also find out about Orsino's idea of being in love and that he is obsessed to some degree.

    • Word count: 3419
  13. What Types of love does Shakespeare explore in Twelfth Night?

    This would also suggest that he is crying tears of grief for his sister. The love the twins show for each other is definitely the most obvious example of family love in Twelfth Night, but if the play is examined carefully one more character emerges that this particular sort of love can be applied to. This is Olivia. When Viola and the Captain appear on the shores of Illyria, the Captain explains to Viola who Olivia is. He tells Viola that Olivia is: 'A virtuous maid, the daughter of a count That died some twelvemonth since, then leaving her In the protection of his son, her brother, Who shortly also died; for whose dear love (They say)

    • Word count: 3508
  14. A joyful fantasy full of impossibilities. To what extent is this a true description of Twelfth Night?

    Puritans wanted rid of all arts and moral beliefs, as they felt it was incompatible with a properly reformed Christianity. In Twelfth Night, Malvolio exemplifies Puritanism, as he is regularly called a Puritan by the other characters because of his self love. Therefore, the character?s pranks at his expense are more political than their outside appearance of playfulness and innocence suggests. Shakespeare?s plays were written to be performed to an audience that were full of different types of people. Among the audience would be different social classes and people with different levels of intellect.

    • Word count: 4650

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Discuss the similarities and differences between Olivia and Viola in "Twelfth Night".

    "So then, to conclude, Shakespeare undoubtedly intended the audience to draw some parallels and recognise a number of similarities between the characters Viola and Olivia, which is suggested by the similarity of their names, their situation and their link with Orsino. However, this does not mean to say they are necessarily similar in character - as illustrated above they are clearly not. Viola is, amongst many things, practical, sensible, sympathetic and very much in control. In complete contrast, Olivia is emotional, sentimental and changeable. However, this does not mean to say that one character is better or worse than the other - though throughout the play Shakespeare makes it very clear that they posses different traits, ultimately they are "good" people, and this "finished product" is a great deal more important than the route taken by each in order to achieve this."

  • To what extent does Twelfth Night fit the genre of a romantic comedy?

    "In conclusion, we can see from many examples, that love twists the character's ideals and morals around, turning them into little more than fools, desperate to be with the ones they love. Throughout the play, the most common type of love shown, is the sexual lust the characters show for another, because most of the character's do not know their counterparts enough to love them on anything else other than appearance. In answer to the title of this essay, we can infer that Twelfth Night fits Shakespeare's genre of romantic comedy, almost perfectly. 4/12/02 English Coursework Essay"

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