FYI, I only read the play which is why my version had 189 pages. I pretty much always ignore the afterwords or commentary on Shakespeare.
That's done, now let's get into it.
This so far next to Macbeth, Othello and Romeo and Juliet, is one of my favorite plays. It is definitely my favorite of the comedies I have read so far, I don't care what anyone says, The Taming of the Shrew is just a long play about how to treat a woman horribly and have her turn into a Stepford Wife. I hate it.
Back to Twelfth Night. This play was hilarious. We follow a diverse cast who are all confused at who is who and in the end people get married because they think that the person that they initially wanted is not the person that they can actually be with it, so you know, substitutions.
The play follows a brother and sister (Viola and Sebastian) who are shipwrecked and believe that the other has perished. Both wash up on the shores of Illyria.
Viola in order to make her way in the world disguises herself as a man since she cannot find any other work and calls herself Cesario and works for Duke Orsino.
Duke Orsino is pining (and seriously I usually scoff at that word but it is apt here) for Olivia. Viola as Cesario goes to deliver messages to Olivia from Orsino (are you still following me?) and then we have Olivia falling for Viola as Cesario.
Olivia refuses to be wooed by anyone since she is still mourning her father and brother who have died. And honestly I was a little perplexed by her mourning since she seemed to be fine with the dead brother thing when she laid eyes on Viola/Cesario.
Along with that we have Sebastian who is making his way around Illryia. He is rescued by Antonio who let's just call it out, is in love with him. I read this play people, this is not platonic love at all. Antonio adores Sebastian and hates that he is off to do his own thing without him.
Maria who works for Olivia (and btw is a jerk) decides with Feste (who is a Fool in name only) decides to play a joke on Malvolio (who works for Olivia as her steward) make him think that Olivia is secretly in love with him. Poor Malvolio.
Along with all of that we have Violia/Cesario still in love with Orsino but realizing that Olivia is in love with her and trying to get away from her and then getting challenged to a duel.
Eventually Antonio lays eyes on Viola/Cesario and takes her for Sebastian (did I forget to mention that Viola and Sebastian are twins?) and is angry that Viola/Cesario claims to not know him. And poor Antonio for his trouble is dragged off into the night. No it's not technically night, I just like saying it.
Olivia mistaken Sebastian for Viola/Cesario asks him to marry her. And Sebastian not knowing this woman at all but is like hey you're rich and pretty, sure let's do this and they secretly get engaged. With Olivia still thinking that this is Cesario.
Eventually Viola/Cesario and Orsino go to Olivia's and she greets Viola/Cesario as her husband (ie fiancee). Of course this leads to Orsino feeling betrayed and everyone yelling before Sebastian reveals himself and then Viola/Cesario reveals herself as a woman. After that Orsino decides if I can't have Olivia I am just going to marry Viola and Olivia is happy to get Sebastian who looks like Viola/Cesario who she was in love with.
This is such a weird play.
Oh and poor Malvolio is eventually locked up because Olivia assumed he was crazy and then locked into a room being messed with by Maria and the Fool. He is eventually let out but is angry (yeah I would be too).
Somewhere in here we had two couples marrying and another marriage of Maria with another character and Antonio left out int he cold. Poor Antonio.
There are a ton of more things done in confusion of who did what to who and why but seriously I would be here all day. I can say that this definitely one play that I want to see in person someday. I think it would be hilarious. Someone mentioned this being a movie, and I am going to see if it's available on Netlfix.