Cover image for Twelfth night, or, What you will
Title:
Twelfth night, or, What you will
Author:
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616.
Uniform Title:
Twelfth night. 2002
Edition:
Washington Square Press new Folger Library hardcover edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Washington Square Press, 2002.

©1993
Physical Description:
xlix, 222 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
General Note:
Includes the text of the play with commentary, textual notes, key to famous lines and phrases, and "Twelfth night, or, What you will: a modern perspective, " by Catherine Belsey.
Language:
English
Geographic Term:
Genre:
ISBN:
9780743452960
Format :
Book

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PR2837.A2 M68 1993C Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

In Twelfth Night, one of Shakespeare's most beloved comedies, love, ambition, mistaken identity, and a confusing shipwreck toss a motley crew of characters into a tangle of relationships that becomes hilariously complicated before it finally and wonderfully unfurls by the end of the play. The actual Twelfth Night is a night of festivity -- the final night of what used to be the extended period of celebration of the Christmas season -- and a night that marks the boundary between the time for games and the business of the everyday world. As the characters seek to right the wrongs of others and find true love, the play shows us a world that we would all choose to enjoy, if we only could, while illustrating Shakespeare's belief that love can be as delightfully confusing as any illusion, and as full of folly as it is of fun. THE NEW FOLGER LIBRARY SHAKESPEARE Designed to make Shakespeare's great plays available to all readers, the New Folger Library edition of Shakespeare's plays provides accurate texts in modern spelling and punctuation, as well as scene-by-scene action summaries, full explanatory notes, many pictures clarifying Shakespeare's language, and notes recording all significant departures from the early printed versions. Each play is prefaced by a brief introduction, by a guide to reading Shakespeare's language, and by accounts of his life and theater. Each play is followed by an annotated list of further readings and by a Modern Perspective written by an expert on that particular play.


Author Notes

William Shakespeare, 1564 - 1616 Although there are many myths and mysteries surrounding William Shakespeare, a great deal is actually known about his life. He was born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, son of John Shakespeare, a prosperous merchant and local politician and Mary Arden, who had the wealth to send their oldest son to Stratford Grammar School.

At 18, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, the 27-year-old daughter of a local farmer, and they had their first daughter six months later. He probably developed an interest in theatre by watching plays performed by traveling players in Stratford while still in his youth. Some time before 1592, he left his family to take up residence in London, where he began acting and writing plays and poetry.

By 1594 Shakespeare had become a member and part owner of an acting company called The Lord Chamberlain's Men, where he soon became the company's principal playwright. His plays enjoyed great popularity and high critical acclaim in the newly built Globe Theatre. It was through his popularity that the troupe gained the attention of the new king, James I, who appointed them the King's Players in 1603. Before retiring to Stratford in 1613, after the Globe burned down, he wrote more than three dozen plays (that we are sure of) and more than 150 sonnets. He was celebrated by Ben Jonson, one of the leading playwrights of the day, as a writer who would be "not for an age, but for all time," a prediction that has proved to be true.

Today, Shakespeare towers over all other English writers and has few rivals in any language. His genius and creativity continue to astound scholars, and his plays continue to delight audiences. Many have served as the basis for operas, ballets, musical compositions, and films. While Jonson and other writers labored over their plays, Shakespeare seems to have had the ability to turn out work of exceptionally high caliber at an amazing speed. At the height of his career, he wrote an average of two plays a year as well as dozens of poems, songs, and possibly even verses for tombstones and heraldic shields, all while he continued to act in the plays performed by the Lord Chamberlain's Men. This staggering output is even more impressive when one considers its variety. Except for the English history plays, he never wrote the same kind of play twice. He seems to have had a good deal of fun in trying his hand at every kind of play.

Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets, all published on 1609, most of which were dedicated to his patron Henry Wriothsley, The Earl of Southhampton. He also wrote 13 comedies, 13 histories, 6 tragedies, and 4 tragecomedies. He died at Stratford-upon-Avon April 23, 1616, and was buried two days later on the grounds of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. His cause of death was unknown, but it is surmised that he knew he was dying.

(Bowker Author Biography)