Twelfth Night is one of the most accessible and yet elusive of Shakespeare's plays. It has enjoyed enormous popularity in performance, but it continues to challenge students. This guide provides a thorough introduction to the play. Included are chapters on the play's background, contexts, themes, dramatic art, critical reception, and performance history. The volume cites current scholarship and closes with a bibliography.
Twelfth Night is one of the most accessible yet elusive of Shakespeare's plays. It has enjoyed enormous popularity in performance, but it continues to challenge students. It has experienced numerous revivals and has provoked some of the most brilliant critical responses from Shakespeare's critics. Written for students and general readers, this guide is a comprehensive introduction to Shakespeare's play.
The volume begins with a look at the play's textual history. This is followed by an exploration of its historical and cultural contexts and its sources and analogues. The book next turns to Shakespeare's dramatic art and then examines his themes of identity, sexuality, and madness. The final chapters look at the critical response to the play and give special attention to the play's performance history. The guide closes with a bibliography.