Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

      Have you ever impersonated or cross-dressed to bluff someone? Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night tells the story of a young woman who had to wear a man’s clothing in order to survive.

      Although subtitles for plays were fashionable during the Elizabethan era, the only Shakespearean play to bear a subtitle is Twelfth Night with ‘or’ ‘What you Will’

     Viola and Sebastian, two siblings, were shipwrecked and were separated in the process. Each of them thought that the other did not survive the accident. Viola impersonated as a man named Cesario and started working under Duke Orsino, who was in love with Olivia. Olivia was in mourning after the demises of her parents and had pledged not to marry for seven years. When Cesario approached Olivia for Orsino, Olivia fell in love with Cesario instead of Orsino. The love triangle is a recurring image of the play.

      Sebastian, on the other hand, was rescued by Antonio. He was met by newer characters in the play such as Sir Toy, Sir Andrew and Malvolio. Malvolio was tricked by Belch and Maria into believing that Olivia was in love with him. As the story panned out, the brother and sister recognized one another and were reunited. At the end, Orsino and Viola pledge their love, Olivia and Sebastian remain satisfactorily wed, and Olivia rebukes Belch and Maria for their abuse of Malvolio.

      You may have heard the following lines from the play as they are often quoted by music lovers:

      ‘If music be the food of love, play on,

      Give me excess of it; that surfeiting,

      The appetite may sicken, and so die.

Picture Credit : Google