Critical Insights: Twelfth Night, or What You Will

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Twelfth Night is one of Shakespeare’s most-loved but also most complex comedies. Frequently performed on stage as well as commonly filmed and televised, this play is famously funny but also nuanced, presenting abundant humor of various shades (from slapstick to subtle, raucous to witty) while also presenting nuanced shades of darkness and many reasons for serious reflection. Malvalio—at once the most ridiculous and most abused character in the play—is, for both reasons, often the most memorable; his role has been interpreted and performed in numerous ways, and the play itself has provoked diverse and often conflicting reactions. This volume will explore this notoriously gender-bending comedy from numerous perspectives, offering historical, comparative, stylistic, psychological, and philosophical perspectives (among many others) while also examining the ways the work has been performed in various media and eras. 

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