Themes in the Play Twelfth Night

The students will read (or view) William Shakespeare’s TWELFTH NIGHT and write a paper about the play that demonstrates an understanding of the topics we have been covering in class. Depending on what topic is chosen, the written assignment could discuss in detail any aspect of the play – its structure, characters, theme, style, potential design, etc. – as long as your response clearly relates to the material we have covered in class.

Possible topics include (only choose one -or- write about a topic of your own choosing):

What is the structure of the play (circular, episodic, climactic, etc.)? How do you know? If there are specific elements that are signatures of its specific structure (for example, climax), where do they fall in the play?
Describe at least one major theme of the play. What is the playwright trying to communicate to us? Cite examples from the play to back up your ideas about the theme or themes.
Our textbook speaks of “dramatic language”. What is notable about the language in this play? Can you discern differences in the way each character speaks? What does the way in which each character speaks tell you about that character?
How does Shakespeare use gender and gender-bending in his production? Why do you think he used these devices? Explore your thoughts on gender-bending in Shakespeare’s era to contemporary times, citing examples.
This written assignment should be YOUR response or analysis of the topic – do not regurgitate or copy someone else’s work from the internet. The written assignment should be 3-5 pages in length (1000 word count minimum). Edit and proofread your assignment (for spelling, grammar, MLA guidelines, etc.). Please follow logical structure, such as introduction, body and conclusion. Include a bibliography should additional sources are used. Creativity and originality (formatting, images, links, etc.) are always encouraged.



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