Twelfth Night critics

Nigel Hawthorne “He’s a sad man and in many ways completely ludicrous, because he displays the height on conceit and pomposity”
Illyria (carnival) “A topsy-turvy world of confusion and masquerades” Gibson
Don’t mean what they say “They seem to mean one thing then break their promises” Norton
C.S. Lewis The four loves: Agape, Phileo, Storge, Eros
Illusions and truth “Illusions are the way to find truth and time will achieve a happy ending for most” Gibson
Illyria is safe “Illyria for all its untrustworthiness is a safe place” Gibson
(like peter-pan) “A never-never land of make believe and illusions” Gibson
Puritans didn’t like cross-dressing “quoted biblical injunctions against cross dressing”
characters allowed to play out their fantasies “allows characters to plauy out their wildest fantasies of erotic and social fulfilment” Massai
Orsino thinks he’s in love with Olivia but he’s in love with the idea of her “Orsino imagines he’s in love with Olivia, tough he doesn’t really know her at all” Jones
Olivia and Orsino “Olivia and Orsino are obsessed by self-love and… superiority in their relations with the opposite sex”
Bisexual theme “a play whose recurring theme is bisexuality” Casey
Sexuality is determined by gender “a means of dramatising the socially constructed basis… sexuality… determined by gendered identity” Casey
You can chose your gender “A subject can chose their gendered identity” Casey
Tension graph Todrov tension 5 acts structure
Final act shows how heterosexuality isn’t always the way “the final act… exposes the failure of heterosexuality” Casey
Critiques the ideal normal of Elizabethan England “dramatic critique of the ideal norm of imperative homosexuality” Casey
Antonio and Sebastian “Antonio and Sebastian provide the most fertile ground for queer inquiry” Casey
The play is centrally about the temper of sexual attraction “centrally concerned… temper of sexual attraction” Casey
Olivia and Viola scenes “lesbian overtones” Traub
Feste sees Cesario is a woman “Feste sees through Voila’s disguise from the start” Norton
The 1996 film edition Trevor Nunn

You Might Also Like