Marriage and Twelfth Night

1541 WordsApr 3, 20137 Pages
‘At the end of Shakespeare’s comedic plays all complications and disorders are resolved and a new order is generated to the satisfaction of the audience.’ to what extent is this true of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night? It is easily argued that Shakespeare’s comedic plays have a similar, formulaic, structure. Dr Schwartz from the California Polytechnic State University argues that the ‘action of a comedy traces a movement from conflict to the resolution of conflict’. There are many disorders and complications in each plot, which by the end of the play must be resolved for the satisfaction of the Elizabethan audience, and in some perspectives, this applies to the modern day audience as well. Twelfth Night poses many different arguments as to…show more content…
Antonio is a character whom it could be argued does not receive a happy ending. It is easily identified by particularly modern audiences, that Antonio is a character who may have homosexual desires. The language used in: ‘my desire, more sharp than steel, did spur me on’ could be interpreted as rather lustful especially the words ‘sharper than steel’ which suggests sexual imagery. This circumstance of mistaken identity, when Antonio is in trouble and mistakes Cesario for Sebastian, for some audiences leans more towards tragedy than comedy because the consequences are more severe. We see how betrayed Antonio feels in the line ‘how vile an idol proves his god!’ Antonio worshipped Sebastian like an idol, and ‘relieved him with such sanctity of love’, only to discover he is the ‘beauteous evil’. The audience may feel pity towards Antonio; this is something they will want resolved. It can be argued this does happen when Sebastian returns. This may have been a good enough resolution for an Elizabethan audience, as many of them will have had no desire to see a homosexual pairing, and perhaps Sebastian’s marriage to Olivia would leave them satisfied that no homoerotic acts occur. The question to Antonio’s happiness never seems to be resolved,
Open Document