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Twelfth Night (New Penguin Shakespeare) Mass Market Paperback – 30 Aug 1973

4.5 out of 5 stars 163 customer reviews

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Mass Market Paperback, 30 Aug 1973
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; New Impression edition (30 Aug. 1973)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140707115
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140707113
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 1.4 x 17.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 163 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,274,381 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

One of Shakespeare's finest comedies, Twelfth Night, was written at the same time as Hamlet and Troilus and Cressida, and while it shares their fascination with sex, death and confused identities, its exuberant comedy and linguistic inventiveness rises above the introspection of these plays. Viola and her twin brother Sebastian are separated in a storm that washes them both up at different points on the shores of Illyria. Believing each other to be dead, both attempt to survive by using their wits. Viola cross-dresses and enters the service of the lovesick Orsino, in love with Olivia, an heiress in mourning for the loss of her brother. Orsino's saucy young page Cesario (Viola) soon falls in love with "his" master, who tells "him", "all is semblative a woman's part". Unfortunately, while Viola falls in love with Orsino, Olivia falls in love with her alter ego, Cesario, while also being pursued at the same time by her pompous servant Malvolio. Olivia's house is also turned upside down by the antics of her drunker uncle, Sir Toby Belch, and the whole crazy situation reaches boiling point when Sebastian reappears.

Despite the madcap plot, Twelfth Night remains one of Shakespeare's most complex and inventive comedies, fascinated with questions of cross-dressing, gender confusion, language and inversion, as well as retaining a darker edge to some of its laughter. --Jerry Brotton

About the Author

William Shakespeare was born to John Shakespeare and Mary Arden in late April 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon. He wrote about 38 plays (the precise number is uncertain), many of which are regarded as the most exceptional works of drama ever produced, including Romeo and Juliet (1595), Henry V (1599), Hamlet (1601), Othello (1604), King Lear (1606) and Macbeth (1606), as well as a collection of 154 sonnets, which number among the most profound and influential love poetry in English. Shakespeare died in Stratford in 1616.


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