The Ways in Which Shakespeare Entertains his Audience in Twelfth Night

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The Ways in Which Shakespeare Entertains his Audience in Twelfth Night

One of the main themes throughout Twelfth Night is that of confusion and mistaken identity. This is illustrated mainly by Viola as Cesario, confusing all of the characters into thinking that she is a man. The only people that know of her true identity (apart from the sea captain at the very beginning) are the audience. This makes it more enjoyable and entertaining for the audience as they know exactly what is going on and can see the comedy in the plot as it thickens. This links to the other main theme of the play, that of entertainment and comic characters. This is illustrated through Sir Toby Belch; who is quite clever and
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Audiences would have gone into the theatre expecting a humorous plot filled with confusion, something Shakespeare manages to live up to.

Shakespeare's audiences would have been the poorer people, visiting the playhouses, very likely to dislike the middle classes and puritans, who wanted to close the theatres down. I think that Shakespeare uses Malvolio to represent Puritanism, a character who has very traditional values and doesn't join in with the fun and games. I think this association would have made it easier to laugh at Malvolio when he is picked on by the other characters and locked up unfairly by Olivia

"Let this fellow be looked to"

Twelfth Night, like many other Shakespeare comedies, has both a main plot and a sub plot. The main plot is the story of Viola/Cesario, Orsino and Olivia and their love-triangle.

"My master loves her dearly;

And I, poor monster, fond as much on him;

And she, mistaken, seems to dote on me."

This plot is based on the different types of love, confusion and how love can be confusing.

The sub plot is based more on comedy and misrule. Sir Toby Belch, Maria, Andrew Aguecheek and Malvolio are the main characters in the sub plot. They play tricks on each other and seem to enjoy themselves more than the other, more serious characters do.

"Three merry men be we!"

I think that
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