The Common Elements Of “Twelfth Night” And “Shakespeare In Love” Essay, Research Paper
The Common Elements of “Twelfth Night” and “Shakespeare in Love”
William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and John Madden’s Shakespeare in Love are two romantic comedies that both convey a tragedy. The reader is able to link both Twelfth Night and Shakespeare in Love with a common plot, theme, and character discussion.
The plot of both works produces a situational comedy. The comedy is expressed through the coincidence of love and unwelcome love. The main actresses in both Shakespeare in Love and Twelfth Night are required to dress themselves as males. Both works are climatic: their themes have many different directions and their resolutions—despite being difficult to ascertain beforehand—control the overall theme.
In Twelfth Night, a love triangle develops that stages a humorous plot with chaotic conflict. The lead character in this play, Viola, (coincidentally the same name as the main character in Shakespeare in Love) dresses as a boy, Cesario; who is in love with a man, Duke Orsinio; who is in love with a woman, Olivia; who is in love with a the girl, Viola; thinking she is the boy, Cesario. Viola is presented as a scatterbrained, agitated and confused character, thus adding to the humor of the play.
In Shakespeare in Love, there is not so much of a triangle, but rather a which includes Lord Wessex vainly trying to take Viola’s hand in marriage. Viola, who is not in love with Wessex in the least bit, has fallen madly in love with Will, sadly, only to be taken from Lord Wessex in the end.
Twelfth Night has many small tragedies intertwined within the plot. Each work contains a villain. The villain characterized in Twelfth Night is Malvolio. Malvolio has the dignity of a butler and the personality of a rogue. Therefore, Malvolio has warranted himself a practical joke. What seemed somewhat funny in the beginning turns into a cruel and tasteless joke, in an attempt—by the other characters—to deceive this fool. This adds a note of melancholy and bitterness to the inevitable happy ending.
The villain in Shakespeare in Love is Lord Wessex. It is to this man that Viola’s wealthy father has betrothed her to be married. QUOTE This plot slowly transforms from a comedy-drama—with Viola confronted with the arrangement of marriage with Lord Wessex—to a tragedy-drama. The lightheartedness of the movie is abruptly ended once it is realized that Viola will indeed travel to the Americas with Lord Wessex. As in Twelfth Night, Viola is required to dress as a boy. In this case, it is so that she can perform in the all-male cast of Will’s Romeo and Juliet. As the story unfolds, Viola’s love for Will deepens. This intimate relationship is disclosed to none of the other characters. The story line of Shakespeare is Love concludes with Viola being forced to leave Will in order to live with Lord Wessex in the America’s. At this point Will declares in a narration that he will now dedicate every play that he writes to his love, Viola, and it is implied that the first play written in this dedication is Twelfth Night.
In both works, Twelfth Night and Shakespeare in Love, a common theme can summarize both of these works. The similarities and differences between the sexes are stressed. By dressing the “Violas” as men, this establishes an opportunity to explore through one character the different manners and motives in which men and women approach the same situation, especially if it involves love. The plays also address the deceptiveness of judging appearance. Considering appearance, especially as it relates to identifying the character, is an important element of writing. By encompassing these different points of views, allowing similar conflicting plots, and creating a common purpose and meaning to the theme, the viewer can establish the relation between a comedy and tragedy, in both “Twelfth Night” and “Shakespeare in Love”.