Book Review! Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

Twelfth Night Oh Shakespeare, what can I say about you? First off, let me say, if you’ve seen the Amanda Bynes movie “She’s the Man”, you have seen a modern adaptation of “Twelfth Night”…and one of Channing Tatum’s first films. Congrats! But moving on…”Twelfth Night” is a gender bender star crossed lovers type story, basically the Shakespeare comedy format.
Olivia is a Countess who is in mourning over the deaths of her father and brother, leaving her in charge of her own destiny…and fortune and land and all that good stuff. Everyone is trying to get a piece of her, but she doesn’t want anyone…until she meets Cesario, who she believes to be a messenger from one of her admirers Duke (or Count) Orsino. What Olivia doesn’t know is…Cesario is really a young woman named Viola who happens to secretly be in love with Orsino. Viola has been separated from her twin brother Sebastian in a shipwreck, both believes the other is probably dead. She dresses as a man to gain employment from Orsino, but unfortunately falls in love with him and has to help him scheme for ways to win over Olivia.
There’s a side story involving some other characters, most recognizably Malvolio, that involves the characters playing a prank on Malvolio that ends with him being considered insane and getting locked up. Don’t fret, that ends well eventually.
The story wraps up rather quickly when Sebastian finds himself in the same town as Viola and Oliva mistakes him for Cesario. She proposes an engagement, which he agrees to despite the fact that he’s NEVER MET HER, guess she’s just THAT good looking. After a rather awkward encounter when Viola and Sebastian meet up again and everyone is confused as all hell, Viola explains that she’s a lady and in love with Orsino. They decide the best thing to do would be to have a joint wedding. The End.

Typical rom-com shenanigans. No one is impressed. Didn’t hate this book, didn’t love it, read it just to cross it off my list of classics to read and I wanted to see how it compared to the movie. Honestly seeing the movie kind of helped me keep track of the characters because I assigned faces to them, yes, my imagination could’ve helped me with that too, but the movie characters took over. I was really depressed at the way the couples so easily agreed to switch partners. I can understand Viola and Orsino ending up together because at least they were confidantes/close friends, now it’s even better because he’s allowed to touch her junk! On the other hand, Olivia and Sebastian ending up together…what?! Come on, they’d literally never met. I don’t like it. Alright, overall rating – C.

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