Twelfth Night | Critical Essay by J. A. Bryant, Jr.

This literature criticism consists of approximately 19 pages of analysis & critique of Twelfth Night.
This section contains 5,118 words
(approx. 18 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by Elizabeth Story Donno

SOURCE: "Critical Commentary," in Twelfth Night or What You Will, edited by Elizabeth Story Donno, Cambridge University Press, 1985, pp. 8-23.

In the excerpt below, Donno traces the progress of the play's dramatic action and discusses the principal characters. Although she acknowledges some discrepancies and inconsistencies in the story, she applauds Shakespeare's treatment of the complicated plot.

After the theatres reopened in 1660, Pepys saw Twelfth Night on three occasions—in 1661, 1663 and 1668. Despite such familiarity, he seems to have missed the evocative and allusive quality of Shakespeare's alternative title, noting in his diary after the 1663 performance that this 'silly' play did not relate 'at all' to the name or to the day. Even for Shakespeare's contemporary audience its most memorable element was the character of the proud, self-loving steward Malvolio—witness a performance presented at court by Shakespeare's...

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This section contains 5,118 words
(approx. 18 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Joan Hartwig