Twelfth Night, Or What You Will is a comedy by William Shakespeare, based on the short story "Of Apolonius and Silla" by Barnabe Rich. It is named after the Twelfth Night holiday of the Christmas season. It was written around 1601 and first published in the First Folio in 1623. The main title is believed to be an afterthought, created after John Marston premiered a play titled What You Will during the course of the writing. William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564 – died 23 April 1616) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language, and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon. At the age of 18 he married Anne Hathaway, who bore him three children: Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith. Between 1585 and 1592 he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part owner of the playing company the Lord Chamberlain's Men, later known as the King's Men. He appears to have retired to Stratford around 1613, where he died three years later. Few records of Shakespeare's private life survive, and there has been considerable speculation about such matters as his sexuality, religious beliefs, and whether the works attributed to him were written by others. Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1590 and 1613. His early plays were mainly comedies and histories, genres he raised to the peak of sophistication and artistry by the end of the sixteenth century. Next he wrote mainly tragedies until about 1608, including Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth, considered some of the finest examples in the English language. In his last phase, he wrote tragicomedies, also known as romances, and collaborated with other playwrights. Many of his plays were published in editions of varying quality and accuracy during his lifetime, and in 1623 two of his former theatrical colleagues published the First Folio, a collected edition of his dramatic works that included all but two of the plays now recognised as Shakespeare's. Shakespeare was a respected poet and playwright in his own day, but his reputation did not rise to its present heights until the nineteenth century. The Romantics, in particular, acclaimed Shakespeare's genius, and the Victorians hero-worshipped Shakespeare with a reverence that George Bernard Shaw called "bardolatry". In the twentieth century, his work was repeatedly adopted and rediscovered by new movements in scholarship and performance. His plays remain highly popular today and are consistently performed and reinterpreted in diverse cultural and political contexts throughout the world. Source: WikipediaQuatrième de couverture :
A delightfully comic tale of mistaken identities, Twelfth Night revolves around the physical likeness between Sebastian and his twin sister Viola, each of whom, when separated after a shipwreck, believes the other to be dead. The theatrical romp begins when Viola assumes the identity of Cesario, a page in the household of the Duke of Orsino. The Duke is enamoured of the Countess Olivia, who spurns him for the newly arrived young page. The comical machinations of Malvolio, Sir Toby Belch, the maid Maria and Sir Andrew Aguecheek add to the ensuing confusion all of which is pleasantly resolved when Viola and Sebastian meet once again. Filled with some of the finest comedic scenes in the English language, this entertaining masterpiece remains one of Shakespeare's most popular and most performed comedies.
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