Twelth Night by Shakespeare

Last Updated: 19 Apr 2023
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* Characters; I have a recommended choice from either,

1. Olivia, The countess of the countess's household.

2. Viola, A visitor of the Island Illyria, which will later be called Cesario.

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3. Malvolio, The countess's steward.

I am going to choose Viola. Because I believe that there is more information to write up on this character because of two sides to write about one person. (So, therefore, more to write about and less research!)

How would you present your character in a film/theatre production?

I would present my Twelfth Night play as a film, due to sound, lighting, and computer effects, and also because you can change the scenery in a matter of seconds in a film whereas you can only use 1 set in a theatre.

Example; In act1 scene2 where the play mentions that the "Captain" and "Viola" are on the sea coast of Illyria with pieces of shipwreck all over the beach. After having a good old chat about where they are, it cuts short to act1 scene3 in Orsino's palace. In a theatre that would be hard to do (maybe impossible!) But in a film, it would be easy. The only reason that I would go for a theatre approach is if I wanted it to be traditional. (Which I don't!)

I would also base the costumes in Elizabethan times because then the dialect would go with the clothing. My play would be based on a Mediterranean Island that all the people that live on the island talk a hint of Italian, but not the clown (feste) and visitors.

Viola is on a ship with her brother (Sebastian) and crew on their way to an unknown destination, until, a large storm hits the vessel causing all members on board to abandon ship. Most of the crew survive but are unknown in the play; the Captain and Viola escape on the same life raft and get washed up on the shores of Illyria. This island is where the whole of the play takes place and where the countess and duke both live.

The play begins;

The play starts off at Orsino's palace (act1 scene1), with Orsino saying "if music be the food of love play on" (words follow) and goes to act 1 scene 2, which shows viola and the captain in a lifeboat all tired and disorientated,

Viola "what country is this dear sir?"

Captain "this place be Illyria, me lady"

Viola "and what should I do in Illyria? My brother, he is in Elysium. Perchance he is not drowned; what think you sir?

Captain "It is perchance that you were saved, me lady"

Viola "O my poor brother, he did not live to see the light of day... And so perchance he maybe." And so on so forth, they keep talking about how she has to become male to be a servant of the duke, so, the captain and her promise to not tell anyone that she's not a man. But the bit that I find funny is that she pretends to be a male by saying that she was castrated as a young lad and that her/his voice hadn't broken. (That was hard to explain!)

Act 2 scene 1

Act 2 scene 1 tells you that Sebastian (viola's brother) is alive and well! But not only that but he's on the coast of Illyria as well.

Act 2 scene 3

Act 2 scene 3 introduces you to feste the fool! (Clown) I find feste the most interesting character because not only is he more clever than most people on the island

Example; Act1 scene5 line 53

Olivia "well, sir, for want to another idol ness, I'll bide your proof"

Feste "Good Madonna, why morn'st thou?"

Olivia "good fool, for my brother's death"

Feste "I think his soul is in hell, Madonna"

Olivia "I know his soul is in heaven, fool"

Feste "the more fool you Madonna, to mourn your brother's soul being in heaven. Take away the fool gentlemen."

but he uses technical words to humiliate other people. Feste belongs to the duke to humiliate people and to please him e.g. jokes, dance, and sing songs.


O mistress mine, where are you coming?

O stays and hears, for your true loves coming,

That can sing for both high and low.

Trip no further, pretty sweeting;

Journeys end in lovers meeting

Every wise man son doth know.

Cite this Page

Twelth Night by Shakespeare. (2017, Aug 27). Retrieved from

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