Often lauded as one of the most structurally perfect comedies ever written and beloved by audiences for generations, Twelfth Night; or, What You Will is a masterpiece. Shipwrecked on the shores of the strange land, Illyria, Viola believes herself alone in the world and her twin brother drowned. Disguising herself as a boy to work in the court of Illyria’s Count Orsino, Viola discovers her male disguise has proven all too effective: Orsino sends her as a go-between in his persistent love-suit to the unresponsive Olivia. Even as Viola sues for Olivia’s love on Orsino’s behalf, Viola falls in love with Orsino herself. What ensues is a cross-dressing comedy rife with pain and triumph, humor and madness, transformation and redemption.
Twelfth Night guide sections