Friday, October 9, 2009

Book Review: Twelfth Night

I finished Twelfth Night yesterday and wrote up a little review of it today.

Wow, this really surprised me. I have read some Shakespeare, yes, but strangely enough this is my first Shakespearean comedy. I was expecting it to me much drier, a string of esoteric jokes that have little foothold on the average modern mind.

I was right to a point -- a few jokes flew right over my head, even with the annotations -- but I was totally unprepared for the bawdiness, the goofiness, the insanity. Some examples: the letter to Malvolio from Maria and friends, and of course the "quarrel" between Sir Andrew and "Cesario" -- that last pair of quotes contains yet another goofy plot line. You, the onlooker, will watch a succession of ill-advised love interests. And you, the onlooker, will discover that Olivia doesn't much care for yellow stockings at all!

As for Feste, the clown, well I think he's just great, my favourite character of the play and perhaps all of Shakespeare (that I've read). His "witty" wordplay -- that usually ends up in a ridiculous mess -- just tickles me all kinds of pink.

I can't wait to see it performed, this Sunday.

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