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Twelfth Night Essay

A Twelfth Night essay can bring to life the play by the same name or “What You Will” by William Shakespeare. It is a comedy written around the Christmas season and is meant to recreate the festive spirit associated with Christmas. William Shakespeare wrote this comedy around 1601 and is set in Illyria, an ancient region to the south of Europe. The play is comedy of errors which take place due to mistaken identity. Viola is the leading character who is lost on the shores of Illyria and is separated from her twin brother Sebastian. The story takes a comical twist when she disguises herself as a man and changes her name to Cesario. She offers her services as a page to Duke Orsino who slowly begins to trust her with important work. Orsino uses her to get in touch with Lady Olivia, the lady he loves, who is mourning the death of her dead father and brother. As fate would have it, Olivia falls in love with Cesario, while Cesario herself falls in love with Orsino. An essay writing exercise can bring out the romantic angle in this comedy.

There are several characters in the play that add liveliness and comedy to the play. Malvolio is snobbish head steward working in the Olivia household who is made to believe that the Lady wishes to marry him. Mavolio is a strict disciplinarian who does not spare Sir Toby Belch, Olivia’s uncle and Sir Andrew Aguecheek for drinking and sing loudly in the middle of the night. He tries to discipline them, which makes them conspire with other household members including the servants Fabian and Maria, and Feste, a joker and entertainer. Once Mavolio is convinced that the Lady wants to marry him, he starts wearing colored stockings and is forced to smile all the time. The Twelfth night essay can show how this irritates Olivia who is made to believe that Mavolio has gone insane.

A research paper can be written exploring the scheming behavior of the characters in their quest to seek revenge.  Poor Malvoio is locked up in a cell meant for the mentally retarded, a dark room with little light. To add salt to his wounds, Feste comes visiting and taunts him. Olivia is sad that Cesario does not love her and is distraught at the rebuke. Enters Sebastian, Cesario’s or rather Viola’s twin brother. At this stage, the audience is ready for a laughter riot.

When Olivia meets Sebastian she assumes it is really Viola she is talking to and expresses her love for him. They get married in secret. Meanwhile, Sir Toby marries Maria. Finally Viola is reunited with her brother. They understand what is going on and appear before both Olivia and the Duke. All ends well when the Duke agrees to marry Viola. The Twelfth Night essay can end on a happy note with Feste bringing the play to a close with a song and the good news that the Fabian has pacified Malvolio when he learns of the trick played on him.