Exploring themes of love, gender, and identity, William Shakespeare’s "Twelfth Night", (or What You Will) was first performed in England in 1602 and first published in 1623 after Shakespeare’s death. "Twelfth Night" takes its title from the twelfth night of Christmas, a raucous holiday marked with feasting and entertainment.
In Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night", a sister and brother are shipwrecked and separated, and they find their way into new friends, love interests, and a case of mistaken identity.
At the beginning of "Twelfth Night", we encounter Viola, who has been shipwrecked off the coast of Illyria. She can't find her brother, Sebastian, and is afraid he drowned. Viola is a noblewoman, but since she's all alone in the world, she needs a way to make a living. Viola dresses as a boy and works for the Duke Orsino, whom she falls in love with. Orsino is in love with the Countess Olivia, and sends Viola to court her for him, but Olivia falls for Viola instead.
One day Sebastian arrives, causing a flood of mistaken identity, and ...