Posted in Book review, Books, Reading, theatre

Book review: Twelfth Night, by some guy named Shakespeare

Twelfth NightTwelfth Night by William Shakespeare

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Fool says, “Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage.” (Act I Sc 5)

We got three bad marriages out of this play. Maybe we should have had some good hangings instead.

Okay, it’s fun, it’s fluffy, it has some great speeches and great poetry, and I’ve run tech for this play before (dated the guy playing Sebastian at the time, but that’s another story) so I’m pretty familiar with the storyline. But I will never really like this show, mainly for the treatment of Malvolio. As pompous and overbearing as the fellow may be, he did not deserve the “prank” played on him. A letter poking fun at him, sure — it was childish, but basically harmless. But to parlay his acting on the instructions of the letter into declaring him mad and essentially throwing him in a dungeon, keeping him literally in the dark? That isn’t a prank: it’s pure viciousness. I hope he got his revenge on Sir Toby, Maria, and Sir Andrew.

As for the marriages? (view spoiler) But who am I to judge? Still think the Fool has it right, though.

(DISCLAIMER: The review shows the cover of the paperback Folger’s edition. I actually read the free online version on my Kindle. You can download the free versions here.)

This play was read as part of the Shakespeare 2020 Project. Join us!

View all my reviews