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Twelfth Night: Shakespeare : Twelfth Night (Everyman) Paperback – 1 Sep 1994

4.4 out of 5 stars 88 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix; New edition edition (1 Sept. 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0460875183
  • ISBN-13: 978-0460875189
  • Product Dimensions: 19.9 x 13 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,779,123 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Review

'refreshing and of immense practical use ... Sources and provenances are fascinatingly discussed.'Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post Weekend

The commentary on Twelfth Night is alive with the editors' feeling for the play in performance. (M.M. Mahoud, University of Kent, YES, 27, 1996) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is the edition if you are new to Shakespeare. It presents the play in an easy to understand way with useful notes and commentary. However it is overtly simplistic and lacks the in depth analysis that this great play deserves.
This is one of Shakespeare's most interesting and entertaining comedies. Enjoy.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I was impressed by the whole Kindle experience, but NOT very impressed by the quality of the words in this free edition of 'Twelfth Night':

'O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet sound,'

is how I remembered it, but this Kindle Version has:

'O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet south,'

Not a lot of help, if one is studying the text for an examination. Does Amazon/Kindle have any responsibility for the quality of the Kindle-branded editions they make available?
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Format: Paperback
Twelfth Night is one of Shakespeare's liveliest and most accessible romantic comedies - but also deals intelligently with issues of gender, sexual desire, class and social harmony.

The enchanting story of Viola dressed as the page Cesario, with whom both Orsino and Orsino's erstwhile object of desire fall in love, is filled with rapturous poetry that articulates love, desire and romantic melancholy. But these central relationships are modulated by Malvolio's desire for his mistress Olivia, the bawdy comedy of Sir Toby Belch, and Antonio's unrequited desire for Viola's twin, Sebastian.

Ultimately social harmony is restored - but the portrait of Malvolio gives us an insight, perhaps, into how characters such as Edmund in King Lear, and Iago are created.

So a sunny, feel-good romantic comedy, but shaded lightly by a darker tinge.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Is slippered middle age on the horizon? Do I seem to prefer Shakespeare's comedies - famously unfunny - to his historical tragedies, nowadays? I certainly didn't get far, at least not yet, with Coriolanus, but Twelfth Night, as with As You Like It, is easy reading. Disguise, mistaken identity, hopeless infatuation, a medley of clowns and love triumphant. All that's missing is a bit with a dog.

It's winter and the rain it raineth every day, so why not curl up with this one?
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Format: Paperback
These notes are good for GCSE level, but they didn't serve greatly when I used it at A Level. I'd recommend, but only for a more advanced understanding for GCSE.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am going to see this play in London and wanted to revise my knowledge of this Shakespeare comedy, for which this book was perfect as it provided not only the play itself but many additional notes and comments. I am fully reinformed thankyou.
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Format: Paperback
I have always found Shakespeare very difficult. The scenarios are unusual, the humour often completely escapes me and things have changed a great deal since the days of Mr. Shakespeare, both in terms of language and society. 'Twelfth Night' was unlikely to win my affection. Where this book scores is in its dedication to putting this play into a context that we can understand today. It offers definitions of words no longer in the English vocabulary (and believe me, there are plenty!) and the book also gives us background information about Shakespeare; his era, his methods and the fictional world in which he set his plays, Illyria. In spite of all this, though, I am still pretty baffled by this play. Maybe you will feel differently.
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Format: Paperback
This could have been better but I have high expectancies. Overall this made a lot of vital, relevant points that you couldn't have pointed out if you were feeling a bit brain dead (like I am constantly when writing essays). Nevertheless, I feel there could have been more detail.
The sample essay titles at the back were quite handy, the chapter summaries and analysises were very useful, the little facts at the side about pleasing the examiners and stuff were pretty groovy, and also the tasks really help to revise and improve understanding of the chpaters. If you struggle with Twelfth Night or just want a good notes book about it then get this!
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