• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

'In what ways do you consider Twelfth Night to be more than simply an entertaining comedy?

Extracts from this document...


Friday, 21st December 2002 'In what ways do you consider Twelfth Night to be more than simply an entertaining comedy? With the writing of Twelfth Night, Shakespeare reached perhaps his highest achievement in sheer comedy, the comedy of entertainment and happiness without any shadow of unhappiness. In this play, we observe that happiness and laughter which is shown, and both actors and audience join in the bliss. During this play, the innocent hilarity continues, and we can perceive that it has a cheerful ending which restores the harmony to the temporary confusion of Illyria as we identify Olivia reunited with Sebastian and Orsino who resolves to marry Viola. We spot that the love triangle is resolved. All of the characters are likeable and very humorous as they all have their unique personalities as we see Sir Toby, who is lovable mischief man. Towards the end of this play, we distinguish that Malvolio has comical appeal, as towards the end of the play he stresses he will seek revenge. In addition, we witness that the play is delightful and amusing for the audiences in Elizabethan times and still is today in theatre. ...read more.


Indeed this play can also be seen as a poignant and elegiac play as we can witness this where Viola speaks her poignant lines, 'Hallow your name to the reverberate hills'. This is a moving part in the play, as Viola wants fulfilment, which we find out until the end of this play this is out of her grasp. The sad note running through the play surfaces with Feste the clown's final song where the players are all happily departed following the grand grouping of the final act, and Feste, on an empty stage, sings of the wind and the rain, of being a boy and then having to face 'man's estate.' He reminds us that these overly joyous, overly sentimental, and overly unrealistic characters have been too concerned with loving, spending, and getting, and that actually the more serious things of life are still there. Concluding this we can distinguish that this play can be seen in the terms of being a sad and moving play with the actions and feelings we can identify and are left with. This play also demonstrates trouble as we can immediately see that this play can be upsetting as its shows the darkness and harsh depths. ...read more.


All of the characters show the idea of having another side to them, as we learn that characters like Feste and Maria are deceitful and other characters like Olivia and Orsino seem to selfish and wrapped up within themselves as Orsino seems to be worried about his 'sweet love'. This play contains both romance and revenge, and is an open to leave the audience thinking whether love is triumph or whether revenge and uncertainty will follow. Concluding this we can see that this play raises the certain questions of the different types of love we are left with as Viola's, Malvolios and Orsino's. We can see the different types of play we can interpret this to be as it is a play which his on the different types of love, a play about the sadness and moving moments we experience. Concluding this we can see that this play invites the audience to think about what they would believe the play to be, a comedy or a play about other aspects as mentioned. This play is more than 'a comedy' as its complexity and interpretation makes this a play, which is successful as we are left to think about its true themes and understanding. Sanjay Chopra ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Twelfth Night section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Twelfth Night essays

  1. Discuss the different types of love presented in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.

    This tells us a bit about Malvolio, that he is full of himself and thinks that he is high rated than Cesario. Viola is puzzled over Malvolio's message and thinks that Olivia is in love with her. The soliloquy highlighted in this scene is when viola realizes that her disguise

  2. Twelfth Night has been described as a play of contrast-light and darkness; humour and ...

    The fact that Olivia marries Sebastian could be interpreted as an arranged marriage; Shakespeare is saying arrange marriages between the aristocrats are inevitable. I believe that Olivia and Sebastian's happy ending is unreal; neither of them know each other well, therefore has not learnt to love each other.

  1. Although 'Twelfth Night' is a happy comedy, there is a great deal of hurt ...

    he speaks "three or four languages", and then when he enters this conversation it makes him look a fool, Sir Toby- "Accost, Sir Andrew, accost" ... Sir Andrew- "Good Mistress Accost, I desire better acquaintance", where accost is to front her and board her, which Sir Andrew did not understand.

  2. What makes 'Twelfth Night' a Comedy?

    has gone to heaven then there is no need for him to be mourned. "The fool more, Madonna, to mourn for your brother's soul being in heaven." Olivia reacts to this with laughter. At the beginning of Act Five, Scene Five, Feste treats both Fabian and Orsino as the 'Stooge' or 'straight man.'

  1. Examine the ways in which Shakespeare creates comedy for the audience in Act 3 ...

    with Olivia by writing the letter, and so her statement implying that she hopes he isn't in love with her is clearly false- in fact, she is gaining fun and enjoyment out of his antics, and probably only said this to appear innocent and concerned to Olivia.

  2. A close, critical analysis of Shakespeare's 'Twelfth Night' with regard to relating a particular ...

    The next line returns back to the theme of fools and wise men: 'This is a practice as full of labour as a wise mans art' declares Feste's fooling to be equal to any 'wise man's' profession - and possibly even an acceptable alternative to such a job - as well as declaring how difficult it is.

  1. Explore how Shakespeare shapes the audience's perceptions of Malvolio in Twelfth Night

    Feste then appears and mimics the stupidity of Sir Andrew, but Sir Andrew enjoys the joke and calls for a song. Feste sings at Sir Toby's request and by this time, the noise levels have risen substantially. Maria then enters and pleads with them to calm down, but they take no notice of her.

  2. How far do you agree with the view that Twelfth Night is a comedy ...

    However many of them justify the reason why "Twelfth Night" is a hilarious comedy. Sir Toby Belch, uncle to Olivia, is a fairly important character of the play in ensuring it remains as comical as possible and a distraction for people of Elizabethan times from their daily routine (the real world).

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work