Twelfth Night Essay Plan

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William Shakespeare-Twelfth Night or What You Will
The comedy in Twelfth Night is largely generated by episodes involving mistaken identity. How far do you agree? Coursework Plan
Description of play and contextual information (twelfth night festival, how the plays themes/elements of inversion link to the festival) possibly performed on the same day as festival though first recorded 6th February. (Reference- “our copy of book”) AO1-

Argument point 1- That Viola is the catalyst for comedy as she throws the entire play into chaos, (adheres to Northrop Frye’s green world theory) the origin of this could link to Viola’s inability to cope with her brother’s death (psychoanalytical) as well as gender identity, with her androgynous appearance “Qq” A feminist critic may disagree with the necessity for a woman to dress as a man to gain freedom, but we can see Olivia as a strong female character in the play "Your lord does know my mind. I cannot love him." As she flatly contradicts Orsino. The comedic mode of inversion is utilised through viola and through this follows all comedy in the play, thus the structure of the play is dependent on the comedic convention of inversion/mistaken identity. Argument Point 2- Despite the cross-dressing being used as a convention of comedy (talk of importance of physical comedy/Type of audience Shakespeare had), we can also see the underlying meaning of the actions of viola through her language, such as her disagreement with Orsino when he states no woman could love more than he could (“Qq”) and we could possibly view Viola as a pro-feminist character (We can see this in her relationship with Olivia, who again is a very strong female character) Though when Viola’s identity is revealed, she doesn’t say a word through 100 lines of dialogue, which may state that the resolution has changed nothing regarding equality to women. We can also see that Shakespeare draws influence from 16th century Italian comedy, which often contained...
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