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Ratings and Reviews (5 5 star ratings
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    must reads

    My game plan for revisiting Shakespeare was to stream video of a staging of the play, listening and watching while reading along to as much of the original text as was incorporated by the staging. Later, I read the entire play in the modern English version. The staging I found on YouTube was amazing. ITV Saturday Night Theatre: Twelfth Night aired January 6, 1969. It features Alec Guinness as Malvolio, Ralph Richardson as Sir Toby Belch, Joan Plowright as Viola/ Sebastian and Adrienne Corri as Olivia. Each have appeared in some of my favorite movies. Scholars believe the play was first performed January 6, 1601 as an entertainment for Queen Elizabeth as she hosted an Italian nobleman, Don Virginio Orsino. The date of the staging -- 12 nights after Christmas -- accounts for the title of the play, which has no bearing on the story.
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    Best of Shakespeare

    I reread the play as I'll be appearing in it this summer as Sir Toby Belch. Ah, what fun! Shakespeare fact: most directors these days cut Shakespeare's plays down to a reasonable two hours for performance. That will be the case for the production I'm in. I'll miss the double-talk conversations between Sir Toby and the Clown, and some of the "mistaken identity" humor involving male/female twins Sebastian and Viola. Although I can see why the director removed this stuff. In the former case, the invented references to phony experts like "Qeuebus" (God, would I have loved saying "Qeuebus"!) would have been indistinguishable from other archaic references, thereby causing confusion to the average theater goer. In the latter case, the humorous situations are often repetitive. Cutting Shakespeare is nothing new. David Garrick, an actor and director who was a friend of Samuel Johnson, used to do it routinely in the 18th century.
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    Nice Book....

    I had to read this for my English Literature class, and I have to say that this is my favorite work by Shakespeare that I've read so far. I have currently read Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, and Macbeth. This was my first Shakespearean comedy, and it was so much fun. I didn't realize how attached I was to the characters until the end, when everything was getting worked out. I loved Viola, because she has some great characteristics. I think everyone should try to read some Shakespeare, and this would be my recommendation!
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    Twelfth Night is a play

    Twelfth Night is a play that involves many interesting characters and quandaries. One quandary that that appears several times through out this play is that people are oblivious to the fact that a person is truly in love with them. Viola is a woman that is mourning the death of her brother and in this situation she comes up with a plan to live as a man to be somewhat invisible to others. While she is living as a man she begins to work as a messenger for a count named Orsino. Orsino is trying to proclaim his love to a woman name Olivia and while he is trying to accomplish this goal he becomes oblivious to the fact that Viola is indeed in love with him. Olivia is a woman who is also mourning the death of her brother. Olivia becomes in fact infatuated with the messenger. As these love triangles evolve through out the play a man named Feste the Fool helps to keep the book interesting by making facetious comments. William Shakespeare's tone through out the play creates a mood of excitement and anticipation for the reader. As the reader begins to get drawn in with the drama of this play, they become eager to find out what the ending of hoe certain schemes will be. This novel is a excellent piece of literature for a reader because it involves all of the guilty pleasures that make it difficult for them to resist.
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    best ever shakespeare....

    A few years ago I read a review of some film that had come out and I was sure I would never see – read the review almost carelessly while flicking through the arts section of the paper on a Saturday morning, no, I must have been clicking over The Age Home Page. The woman who wrote the review commented that whatever the film was had been based on Twelfth Night – which she considered that most ridiculous of Shakespeare’s plays – she really could not see how anyone could be bothered to reproduce this nonsense of Shakespeare’s based on the all too unfunny humour of cross-dressing and confused sexuality. I emailed Fiona the link with some comment to the effect, “Look at what this stupid bitch has written.” Did I mention that this review was in The Age – that once great newspaper? If anything symbolises the tragic fall that newspaper has suffered… Anyway, I’ve been trying to remember when I first saw Twelfth Night on telly. My ex-wife and I were away for a dirty weekend and it must have been before I had started university the first time around – the Physics me. I think it was raining outside (we hadn’t gone for the scenery, so the rain was immaterial) and the hotel room had a television. I lay the wrong way on the bed and flicked to channel two and Felicity Kendal appeared, hooded, on a beach – remarkably dry, all things considered – and I instantly feel madly and helplessly in love, first with her but then much more in love with the play. I love everything about this play. I love all of the obvious things, the boys falling in love with girls who are dressed as boys but are really girls. I love the girls falling in love with ‘youths’ (even before that word became pejorative and male as my daughter, Fiona is now fond of telling me) who are really girls, but end up married to girls who actually aren’t girls, but also not who they think they are but really the girl’s brother… I love the perfectly controlled and perfectly understandable complexity and messiness of it all.
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