Twelfth Night has seldom been off the stage since Shakespeare's day.
It has been performed for its romantic high comedy and its boisterous low comedy; with an emphasis on farce or on autumnal melancholy; as straightforward celebration of heterosexual love and marriage or as exploration of the complexity of gender.
David Carnegie and Mark Houlahan's introduction to the play provides a lively discussion of the play's performance history, and encourages readers to think about stagecraft and the play as a performance text, while the historical appendices provide materials that illuminate different thematic elements of the play.
Extended notes interleaved throughout the play present relevant illustrations and expand on mythological, historical, and religious references in the play.
The accompanying online text will offer additional commentary on staging alternatives and more extensive visual materials.