Internet Shakespeare Editions


Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night is considered by some to be the last of Shakespeare's "festive" comedies. A tale of shipwreck and disguise, it explores questions of gender and identity that recur from Shakespeare's early comedies to his later romances.

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  1. Summary: facts about Twelfth Night

    Written:around 1601.
    First published: 1623, in the First Folio.
    First mentioned: indirectly in 1601, in a letter from an Italian Duke (Orsino!), who saw Shakespeare's company perform a play at court on Twelfth Night (January 6); directly in 1602, by John Manningham, who saw the play performed for a Middle Temple feast in February of that year.

    Major source: Barnabe Riche's story "Apollonius and Silla" from Riche His Farewell to Military Profession (1581).