Twelfth Night, or What You Will: The Oxford Shakespeare, Paperback Book

Twelfth Night, or What You Will: The Oxford Shakespeare Paperback

Edited by Roger Warren, Stanley W. Wells

Part of the Oxford World's Classics series

4 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Twelfth Night is one of the most popular of Shakespeare's plays in the modern theatre, and this edition places particular emphasis on its theatrical qualities throughout.

Peopled with lovers misled either by disguises or their own natures, it combines lyrical melancholy with broad comedy.

The introduction analyses its many views of love and the juxtaposition of joy and melancholy, while the detailed commentary pays particular attention to its linguistic subtleties.

Music is particularly important in Twelfth Night, and this is the only modern edition to offer material for all the music required in a performance. James Walker has re-edited the existing music from the original sources, and where noe exists has composed settings compatible with the surviving originals.

ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256 pages, halftones
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Shakespeare plays
  • ISBN: 9780199536092

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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

a re-read after many. many years - still as wonderful as i remember

Review by

Audio performed by Stella Gonet, Gerard Murphy and a full cast<br/><br/>Viola and her twin brother, Sebastian, are separated during a shipwreck. When she arrives on the shores of Illyria, she presumes Sebastian is dead. The ship’s captain helps her disguise herself as a man, and she enters the service of Duke Orsino, with whom she falls in love. Orsino, however, loves the Countess Olivia, who has foresworn any suitors while she mourns the death of her father and brother. Orsino begs Cesario (Viola in disguise) to plead his case with Olivia, but Olivia instead falls in love with Cesario. And so the fun begins.<br/><br/>I love Shakespeare, and I confess to liking his comedies more than the tragedies or historical dramas. I find it particularly delightful to watch the various mistaken identities, convoluted twists and turns in plot, purposeful obfuscations or pranks, and dawning realizations unfold before my eyes. The scenarios are outlandish and ridiculous to a modern audience, but are still fun and delightful in their execution. <br/><br/>BUT … I dislike <u>reading</u> plays. I much prefer to see them performed. When I’m reading – especially Shakespeare – I find that I lose the sense of action and can more easily get bogged down in unfamiliar terms or phrases. Listening to this audio performance was a happy compromise. I’ve seen this play on stage and could easily picture the scenarios and shenanigans while listening to this very talented cast audio performance. <br/><br/>I did also have a text version to supplement the audio experience, and the particular edition I had (Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-953609-2) includes a long introduction outlining the history of this work, copious footnotes in the play defining terms, an appendix with the music, and an extensive index. It is an edition I would definitely recommend to someone who is studying this play. <br/>

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