Knowing nothing about this play when I began, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the plot: shipwrecks, hidden identities, separated twins, love triangles (of course). Not to MENTION the yellow stockings, which had me laughing out loud. It's most certainly a comedy and, with other Shakespeare comedies, I must insist that whomever attempts it for the first time (if you are unfamiliar with Shakespeare) that they read the text along with a production. The comedic elements, especially, are just SO much more enjoyable when you can watch them! I also think that just the acting alone can really make the text so much more accessible.
At the heart of this story is Viola, a twin who believes her brother has drowned at sea. She determines to act the part of a boy so that she can get employment in the house of Count Orsino. Orsino is in love with the lovely Olivia, who has recently lost both her brother and her father, so she is all alone in the possession of a fine fortune. Cue all the funny business of people falling mistakenly in love. There is a subplot involving some of Olivia's other suitors and her manservant that is absolutely hysterical (a la Kenneth Branagh in Much Ado About Nothing).
I enjoyed this one a lot. I'm glad I'll be able to dig deeper into its meaning with my book group this month!
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