A happy Shakespearean play, Twelfth Night
is a story of cross dressing and mistaken identity. It is filled with sexual tension between the
characters and poetic words on love. The play is meant to bring laughter to the audience while
touching their hearts. The main story is of a girl who dresses as a boy so she can have employment
in a noble household. She quickly comes to favor and falls in love with the man for whom she.
Even though she loves him, she keeps her identity as a boy and delivers his messages of love to the
aside from Viola's story, the play has many small plots. The discussion on the fool shows that
people are not always as they seem, for though Feste is the jester, he is witty and knowledgeable.
He is also a talented actor and singer. The noble in the play, Sir Andrew, actually turns out
to be the foolish one. Also a paradox is the attitude of Malvolio. Although he holds a respected
position in the household, he is arrogant and thinks himself above his position. The prank that
Maria, Toby, Anthony, Fabian, and the Fool play on him is to try to put him in his place.
Another theme is in the story of
Antonio. Though he is a criminal in Illyria, Antonio saves Sebastian's life and risks his life
for him. He offers him money and helps to get him lodging. Lastly, he steps into the fight
between Cesario and the gentleman of Olivia's house. He does this out of kindness that is usually
not associated with criminals.
Finally, the last paradox in Twelfth Night is the idea of a woman being the head of the household.
At the death of her family, Olivia takes charge of the household, which would normally be ruled by a
male such as Sir Toby. This theme may have arisen in Shakespeare's play because it was written
at a time when a woman was the leader of England.