Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Love Questions and Breaking the Rules
I ended up really enjoying Twelfth Night all the way through. I found the gender role questions really interesting and the whole play was really funny. The pairings in the end were so ridiculous and quick that they did not seem completely realistic, but I suppose the entirety of the play was pursued in that light. My feelings were not hurt at all by the dismissal of Malvolio, because he was such a kill-joy anyway (and how ironic that he ended up having some of the funniest scenes); I did however, feel a little bad about Antonio. In my experience with Shakespeare, the Antonios never really get the best deal. I mean they usually come out OK but they are not ever the real winners (note Merchant of Venice and The Tempest). Sir Andrew was just kind of a joke ("a boob" in Dr. Staub's fitting words) the whole time and it didn't really bother me that he was forgotten in the end either. I did find the duel/letter confusion with Viola/Cesario pretty funny and an interesting commentary on the innate-ness of masculinity and femininity. Shakespeare's ideas about homosexual love, and the easiness of the shift between male and female come through in a really interesting way at the end of the play. For example the Viola and Orsino plot makes an interesting turn and exit. Orsino still refers to his love as Cesario and Viola/Cesario is still in his man's clothing when they exit. This leaves the audience with a really interesting final image of love and homosexual (gasp!) love on the stage.