Lecturer in English
Sri Venkateswara Degree College
Shakespeare’s truly Romantic comedy, Twelfth Night, or ‘What You will’ reminisces us into a parlance of New Year revelries purposefully sought by revelers to go on a celebration spree inadvertently and to pamper their senses in order to soften their overburdened mind reeling with the cogitations of carefully chosen care-worn life.The play is unique among Shakespeare’s works in having a second or subtitle, “What You Will.” This second part to the play’s title is an open-ended invitation by Shakespeare to his audiences. They can choose to enjoy the play as a simple, romantic comedy with a happy ending, but they are also free to take note of certain negative or problematic aspects woven into the general revelry by the mature Bard.Twelfth Night validates this idea of love, but with some disconcerting qualifications. Love is true in Twelfth Night, but it is also irrational, excessive and fickle; it wanes over time, as does its chief cause, physical beauty.Today, the part of Viola is customarily performed by a woman, which allows modern audiences to focus more on her heart-to-heart discussions with Duke Orsino regarding the differences between the sexes—an issue that continues to interest us today.Finally, Twelfth Night focuses not only on the roles of the sexes, but on those of the different social classes as well.
Key Words: New Year revelries,revelers,pamper,care-worn life,Romantic comedy,love.