Twelfth Night Essay

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Source: "Twelfth Night: The Limits of Festivity" in Studies in English Literature, 1500 to 1900, Vol. 22, No.2, Spring, 1982, pp. 223-38.

[Logan explores the darker side of the carnival atmo sphere of Twelfth Night , arguing that in the night world of the play, feStiVity has lost itS innocence. He identifies the theme of the main plot as sexual, and the subplot, revelry, explaining that sexuality and revelry are the "two faces of the Saturnalian experience.» The critic contends that the characters of the play are able to lose themselves in festivity because they, with the exception of Feste and Malvolio, are young and wealthy and literally carefree. Malvolio plays the parental role, and true to the reversal which underlies Saturnalian festivity, is imprisoned, just as those natural impulses of restraint are locked up and ignored during the pursuits of pleasure. Feste links the plots and suggests through his melancholy songs...

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This section contains 6,313 words
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Buy the Twelfth Night Study Guide
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