Critical Critics (Twelfth Night)

Lorna Hutchson the one who spoke of Viola’s “rhetorical attractiveness”
Lisa Hopkins the one who spoke of marriage as part of the comedy form and said that Shakespeare challenges it
David Bevington the one who spoke about Malvolio as “the most pointed satire Shakepeare ever wrote”
David Schalkwyk the one who wrote the Connell Guide and spoke of Orsino’s infatuation with love (“if music be the food of love, he quickly tires of it”); sexual imagery in Scene 1, Act 1; the idea that the name Viola also comes from “violation” and “violence”; argues that “same sex desire is marginalised”
Joseph Pequigney the one who argued that basically everyone is Twelfth Night is bisexual, especially Olivia, Antonio and Sebastian (“bisexual experiences are not the exception but the rule”)
C.L Barber the one who wrote about Twelfth Night (among others) as a “saturnalian comedy” and talked about elements of the festival in the play
Keir Elam the one who wrote the introduction to our copy of Twelfth Night and has lots of ideas on everything
Michael Shapiro the one who wrote the essay on gender and theatricality in which he argues that Orsino continues to refer to Viola as a boy and this underscores the fact that she was played by a boy actor at the time (calls the references to gender a “reflexive allusion”)
Palfrey the one who analysed Viola’s half lines in speech and argues that she displays her sense of paralysis and passivity
Kiernan Ryan the one who calls Twelfth Night an “elegy for comedy itself”
Marjorie Garber the one who says that “Shakespeare is concerned with the double nature of all human beings” especially when it comes to gender
Francois Laroque the one talks about the festive tradition and says it grants Shakespeare a “world of phrases, images and symbols”
John Hollander the one who wrote that confusing essay on indulgence and the humours but has a good point about the first scene, saying Orsino’s food, love and music speech sets out the key themes for the play
R.W Maslen the one who talks about the resilience of the comic form despite censorship and societal problems (e.g. Puritan threats, plague)
Roger Warren the one who pointed out that Viola risks revealing her identity by standing up for women in love in Scene 4, Act 2 and analysed her adopting of Orsino’s “we (men)” pronouns
Philip Edwards the one who says that the festive comedies do not end in clarification, claiming “a strong magic is created: and it is questioned”

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