Twelfth Night | Study Guide

William Shakespeare

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Course Hero. "Twelfth Night Study Guide." Course Hero. 1 Sep. 2017. Web. 11 Dec. 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Twelfth-Night/>.

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Course Hero. (2017, September 1). Twelfth Night Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved December 11, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Twelfth-Night/

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Course Hero. "Twelfth Night Study Guide." September 1, 2017. Accessed December 11, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Twelfth-Night/.

Footnote

Course Hero, "Twelfth Night Study Guide," September 1, 2017, accessed December 11, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Twelfth-Night/.

Overview

Twelfth Night infographic thumbnail

Author

William Shakespeare

Years Written

1600–02

Type

Play

Genre

Comedy

Perspective and Narrator

The title Twelfth Night refers to the last night of Christmas holiday celebrations in England before the feast of the Epiphany (the Christian holy day commemorating Christ's appearance to the Magi). According to tradition, on Twelfth Night communities choose a "Lord of Misrule" to lead the activities. Various kinds of pandemonium, often involving cross-dressing, the playing of practical jokes, and participating in other antics that temporarily disrupt social order ensue. These activities also figure prominently in Shakespeare's play. Its alternate title, What You Will, also evokes an atmosphere of free-for-all and may have been used to suggest Twelfth Night's relationship to Shakespeare's earlier play As You Like It.

About the Title

The title Twelfth Night refers to the last night of Christmas holiday celebrations in England before the feast of the Epiphany (the Christian holy day commemorating Christ's appearance to the Magi). According to tradition, on Twelfth Night communities choose a "Lord of Misrule" to lead the activities. Various kinds of pandemonium, often involving cross-dressing, playing practical jokes, and participating in other antics to temporarily disrupt social order ensue. These activities also figure prominently in Shakespeare's play. Its alternate title, What You Will, also evokes an atmosphere of free-for-all and may have been used to suggest Twelfth Night's relationship to Shakespeare's earlier play As You Like It.

Summary

This study guide and infographic for William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night offer summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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