Twelfth Night By William Shakespeare Study Help Essay Questions

1. Twelfth Night is based on a series of mistaken identities and disguises of one sort or another. Identify as many of the disguises as you can, and explain how each of them functions in the plot development.

2. Describe the nature and type of love to which Duke Orsino is an easy prey.

3. Why does Duke Orsino use Cesario (Viola) to woo Olivia? Why doesn't he court her himself? Is it significant that Orsino and Olivia meet only once in the play and that this meeting is at the very end of the comedy? If so, why?

4. What qualities does Duke Orsino possess that allow Viola to fall in love with him?

5. Discuss Viola's use of her disguise.

6. Discuss the various changes that Lady Olivia undergoes during the course of the play. How can these changes be accounted for?

7. Relate the comic subplots dealing with Sir Andrew's and Malvolio's love for Lady Olivia to the main romantic plots.

8. How many separate plots are there? How can each be related to the other?

9. How does music function in this comedy?

10. How is Feste the Clown related to both the comic and the romantic plots?

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