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

Is Twelfth Night just a comedy of romance and confusion

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Is Twelfth Night just a comedy of romance and confusion, or does Shakespeare use the mythical setting of Illyria to explore more important issues? In the play Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare it could be argued that Illyria is used as the setting for the play because Shakespeare wanted to use the play as an illustration of some of the deeper issues of the time. At the time of the play Illyria, a make believe country, which is already seen to be a weird place, is depicted during twelfth night - a time when everything is just a little bit different. This gave Shakespeare more freedom to explore issues like Puritanism, the church and the nature of love and romance. Shakespeare uses Illyria to set the scene for his play for numerous reasons. One reason as it gives Shakespeare much more freedom to say what he wanted he could ridicule religions, leaders, and the church. Whereas if Shakespeare and set the play in England he could have gotten into trouble over some of the things he explored; but as he set it in Illyria, a world of fantasy, he could say what he wanted without fears of repercussions. For instance Shakespeare creates a character called Malvolio. ...read more.

Middle

Shakespeare here is turning the audience against Malvolio, and Malvolio here is being a stereotypical Puritan, so Shakespeare is slyly turning the audience against Puritanism in general. Shakespeare was probably so against the Puritans as he was more or less the complete opposite of one. The Puritans wanted to ban the theatre, Shakespeare whole life was centred on the theatre. The Puritans had very strict rules about marriage and the like whereas Shakespeare is known for 'sleeping around' and basically not following any Puritanical ethics. Thus Shakespeare decided to write Twelfth Night with a Puritan character so he could get across his views on the belief. However Shakespeare has some other views on Puritans too. In Twelfth Night he later portrays Malvolio to be a hypocrite. ""Having been three months married to her [Olivia], sitting in my state... Calling my officers about me, in my branched velvet gown; having come from a day-bed, where I have left Olivia sleeping... I frown the while; and perchance wind up watch, or play with my--some rich jewel. Toby approaches; courtesies there to me..." (Act 2 Scene 5) Malvolio is fantasizing about Olivia, and having power, and day-dreaming about being wealthy etcetera, thus showing Malvolio to be a hypocrite, as puritans are supposed to have a very pure, humble and clean life and want nothing more than God himself. ...read more.

Conclusion

They are irresponsible and do not foresee consequences they simply want to have a good time - no matter who they inconvenience. "ANDREW: Nay, my troth, I know not: but I know, to be up late is to be up late. TOBY: ...Does not our life consist of the four elements? ANDREW: Faith, so they say; but I think it rather consists of eating and drinking. TOBY: Thou'rt a scholar; let us therefore eat and drink. Marian, I say! A stoup of wine!" (Act 2 Scene 3) As the quote shows the two were often drunk and insisted on keeping company with the servants of the house such As Mariah and Fabian, as well as a fool called Feste. This behaviour would have been frowned upon in Shakespeare's days. So Shakespeare's audiences would have frowned upon the nobles wishing them to be more responsible, again making the audience think about their own preconceived notions about the governors of the land. So in conclusion Shakespeare's Twelfth Night has the setting of Illyria, a mythical place, for many reasons. It gives him more freedom, a chance to give his audience a sense of perspective on many issues such as Puritanism, and lets Shakespeare be satirical with no repercussions. So Twelfth Night does explore deeper issues of Victorian society, but most importantly he uses the play to get his audiences to reconsider what they had previously accepted. ...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. How does Shakespeare explore the theme of love in Twelfth Night(TM)?

    This shows that she does not value her love for her brother as highly as her love for Cesario. We are shown that the relationship between brother and sister can also be extremely strong, as when Viola and Sebastian are separated, they don't seem to forget about each other, and

  2. How does Shakespeare create and use comedy in the play Twelfth Night?

    She is involved with both Orsino and Olivia. Viola is the link to all of the romantic main plot and Shakespeare uses her to create many comical situations and events throughout the play. Olivia is a similar character to Orsino in many ways.

  1. Love in Twelfth Night

    Shakespeare is making this point through humour as the audience would see Orsino looking very stupid. Viola-Cesario then says that women can love as much but they don't always show it; talking about her romantic love for him. Viola-Cesario has given Orsino so many hints by now of her love

  2. What Types of love does Shakespeare explore in Twelfth Night?

    lids to them' and she continues with her inventory of beautiful features. She thinks very highly of herself and this is possibly another case of self-love. The next type of love Shakespeare explores in Twelfth Night is the exact opposite of self-love, selfless love.

  1. Act 2 scene 5 Twelth night - What dramatic devices ensure that this scene ...

    then corrects himself, and by saying 'some rich jewel': "I frown the whole, and perchance wind up my watch or play with my - some rich jewel" (Line 50). This could be acted on stage by him handling and exhibiting a piece of jewellery.

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

    a kinsmen, surly with servants", let his "tongue tang with arguments of state", and for him to dress "cross-gartered" with yellow stockings. Malvolio falls for the trick, and fulfils the letter's suggestions. Olivia consequently thinks him mad, which is encouraged by the subtle taunting of her household.

  1. How Does Shakespeare Use Comedy In Twelfth Night? Make Detailed References To At Least ...

    No one is 100% sure of when Twelfth Night was first performed but it is believed to have been commissioned by queen Elizabeth 1 to be performed in 1601 before the an Italian duke named Orsino. There are some that think that the flouting of court etiquette would have offended him.

  2. Examine the Levels of Deception in Twelfth Night

    atmosphere of love and excess of love, which is particular to Orsino throughout the play, is set and we get an idea that not all is well in his love as he apparently wishes to be rid of it. The idea is given that if Orsino has too much music

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