Shakespeare 2006 M. D'Antonio Twelfth Night



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Shakespeare 2006 M. D'Antonio

Twelfth Night
Due on February 21, 2006
Choose one of the following topics:


  1. Twelfth Night is a romantic comedy, a genre that continues to draw and charm audiences today. In romantic comedy, the young, aristocratic, intelligent, witty, attractive protagonists begin the drama far apart, but are drawn together after undergoing several challenges that either educate, punish, or somehow change them in ways necessary for the happiness that the audience assumes they will enjoy as the drama concludes. There may be threats from the outside, in the form of antiquated rules and/or attitudes on the part of other characters; they themselves may possess values, habits, or attitudes that must change before the expected happy ending. In the process of the play/film, they are laughed at, they laugh at one another, and they learn to laugh at themselves. They also find their appropriate mate.

For this assignment, find a romantic comedy on DVD or in the theater, view it and compare it with Twelfth Night. Analyze the protagonists, their world, their path to happiness, and the conclusion. Has the genre of romantic comedy substantially changed? Or substantially remained the same? Why do you think it has remained popular for so long? What is the new variation on the old attributes, if there is one? A list of some popular film romantic comedies is listed below. Check with me if you choose a different one.




  1. Like tragedy, comedy seeks a golden mean, of adjustment to a world of common sense, self-knowledge, order, and consideration of others. In Twelfth Night, several characters are shown to be excessive and are punished in various ways for their excessiveness. In your essay, analyze these characters and their excessiveness. In what way(s) are they excessive? Discuss how Shakespeare punishes them for their departure from the common sense norm. How funny are the punishments and how efficacious are they? Not how Shakespeare uses the motif of fools and foolishness throughout the play. You should discuss that motif as you explore these issues.




  1. The characters in Twelfth Night often emote – demonstrating their feelings and also talking about the nature of feelings. Based on the conversations of the lovers, explore the nature of love and passion. What does Shakespeare seem to be revealing through these characters?

Your essay should be at least four pages long, double-spaced and must include thorough analysis of textual support. You should not consult any outside sources. Remember to email it to me at mdantoni@pingry.org and that it is your responsibility to bring a hard copy as well as checking that I have sent a confirm receipt of your email by the end of the day that it is due.


Romantic Film Comedies:

Roman Holiday Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck (1953)

Breakfast at Tiffany’s Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard (1961)

The Graduate: Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft (1967)

Roxanne: Steve Martin, Darryl Hannah (1987)

The Princess Bride: Robin Wright Penn, Cary Elwes (1987)

When Harry Met Sally: Meg Ryan, Billy Crystal (1989)

Pretty Woman: Richard Gere, Julia Roberts (1990)

Four Weddings and a Funeral: Hugh Grant, Andie McDowell (1994)

Emma: Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeremy Northam (1996)

As Good as It Gets: Helen Hunt, Jack Nicholson (1997)

Sweet Home Alabama: Reese Witherspoon, Josh Lucas (2002)

How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days: Kate Hudson, Matthew McConaughey (2003)

Hitch: Eva Mendes, Will Smith (2005)


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