John Basil, founding member of the American Globe Theatre in New York City, directed graduate students from Penn State's School of Theatre in this production of selected scenes from William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night during Penn State's 2007 theatre season.
Jennifer Evans, Josie Gildow, and Gary Masquelier, English teachers from central Pennsylvania, wrote lesson plans based on these video segments.
This video from Penn State's School of Theatre production of Twelfth Night is devoted to the resolution of the story. Not only does Viola win the man she loves, Orsino, but most characters in the play find the mates they desired. Malvolio’s release brings to light the fact that Maria played a practical joke on him. Both he and Sir Andrew are left desiring Olivia as it is revealed that she married Sebastian – Viola’s brother. Feste, the fool, closes the play by reminding the audience that what they saw was to be taken lightly and that nothing was true.
More things happen in the last act of this play than in any other act. It is a single scene act where all the characters come together and all the problems resolved. There is also a rather sudden change of heart on the part of Orsino and Olivia. In the beginning, Olivia insists that she has married Viola/Cesario. This confuses Viola and angers Orsino to no end. He feels angry enough to threaten to kill Viola. While Viola is protesting this falsehood, Olivia has the priest testify to the fact that Olivia and ‘Cesario’ did indeed marry.
The confusion continues when Andrew Aguecheek enters with a bleeding head wound. He received the wound from Sebastian, whom he mistook to be Cesario. Toby enters with a similar wound. Seeing Cesario on stage, the mistaken identity compounds when they believe him to be the one who injured them. Moreover, Antonio, Sebastian’s servant, thinks Viola/Cesario is actually his master Sebastian.
Just as Viola and Orsino are denying the possibility, Sebastian himself enters the scene and brother and sister finally meet. Viola is finally able to acknowledge that she is, in fact, a woman. Olivia has inadvertently married Sebastian by thinking him to be Cesario. Orsino is quick to change his mind about killing Cesario/Viola and decides to love her, but he insists on seeing Viola dressed as a woman first. Olivia asks Orsino to think of her as a sister and he instantly agrees!
Viola’s clothes are with the captain of her wrecked ship. In order to ask Malvolio to get the detained captain to her, Olivia summons him and then the mystery of his behavior and ‘Olivia’s’ letter is unraveled. Malvolio is livid at having been the butt of Maria and Sir Toby’s joke and threatens to exact revenge on them. But he cannot punish Maria any more, for she has married Sir Toby- his master! The good end up happy and the bad end up punished.
Come boy, with me. My thoughts are ripe in mischief.
I’ll sacrifice the lamb that I do love,
To spite a raven’s heart within a dove.(Orsino – V, 129-131)
Comment on the passion that drives Orsino to declare war on Cesario and his rather instant change of heart as a result of the ensuing action.
Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. (Malvolio -- V, 372)
Feste repeats this quotation verbatim from Maria’s letter found by Malvolio in Act II. How is this description ironical in view of what we know about Malvolio?
I’ll be revenged on the whole pack of you. (Malvolio -- V, 380)
Describe what the audience reaction to Malvolio might have been had he not expressed these sentiments at the end of the play.
Academic standards correlations on Teachers' Domain use the Achievement Standards Network (ASN) database of state and national standards, provided to NSDL projects courtesy of JES & Co.
We assign reference terms to each statement within a standards document and to each media resource, and correlations are based upon matches of these terms for a given grade band. If a particular standards document of interest to you is not displayed yet, it most likely has not yet been processed by ASN or by Teachers' Domain. We will be adding social studies and arts correlations over the coming year, and also will be increasing the specificity of alignment.