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Lecture 13

ENGL 200 Lecture 13 - Twelfth Night Part I.docx

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English (Arts)
ENGL 200
Wes Folkerth

Shakespeare, Twelfth Night: Part I Introduction Comedy  Word comes from the word “Comos”: festival, which is a festive meal of some sort  The structure that Shakespeare uses derives from Roman comedy, from the early years of Christianity  Usually a description of a love relationship between a young guy and a young girl is typical and there is usually an impairment (the blocking character) o This impairment is usually the will of a father (you should marry another guy) o Sometimes it is a law (that prevents them from being together)  The story of the comedy is a story of how they get around these blocking mechanisms and how they get with each other  There is also an establishment of a new society (not based on the law of the father) o This makes it a very generationally aware work o Winter vs. Spring: Spring is always going to win: There is always this cyclic ways in which we experience life and relationships  Sometimes the issue its about an older man marrying a young woman (age difference), and that its objectionable, and that this is not appropriate and there are social mechanisms to correct these stuff  Comedy is typically a socially conventional form and socially conservative form  Sometimes in Shakespeare, the marriage takes place at the end of the play (or soon after the play in Twelfth night)  Sometimes the marriages are in the beginning of the play, and how these people are going to relate to each other  The most recent spin is when you knock somebody up (Knocked-up) and they need to get to know each other  It is all about atonement (at-one-ment)  Festive comedies: Shakespeare is taking this literary-dramatic history-comedy narrative (which he does very well) and grafts on a specifically English modality, and injection of a festive spirit into these works  This is very carnivalesque  Romans bring to England these saturnic festivalities, celebrating the reproductive ability of early, celebrating spring, equinoxes, and what happens is that these festivals are so important in making their relationship from nature that they are very difficult for people to expunge from their desires th  The church tried to expel these festivals, such as the St. Jean Baptiste festival on the 24 of June (near the Summer solstice), and the Christmas (winter equinox), an
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