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Though the background and atmosphere of Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" are...

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s77 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 3, 2008 at 11:45 PM via web

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Though the background and atmosphere of Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" are romantic, they are built on solid rock of realism. Explain.

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suman1983 | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted June 19, 2008 at 1:39 AM (Answer #1)

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The Oxford Companion to English Literature notes Sir P. Harvey’s influential definition of ‘realism’: “a loosely used term meaning truth to the observed facts of life”. It is normally accepted that realism is a term which is opposed to romance. In Twelfth Night, though characters are involved in romantic activities, they are also concerned about the “observed facts of life”: Viola has to disguise as Casario for her security in an unknown surrounding, the love-sick Orsino realistically transfers his love from Olivia to Viola and, finally, Feste offers his comments about the other characters of the play from a realistic perspective. Thus, in Twelfth Night there is an excellent blend of romance and realism – the characters are romantic, but they live in the real locale of Illyria.

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