What is the significance of Shakespeare's title Twelfth Night, and how did the title come into use?
The title Twelfth Night refers to the twelfth day after Christmas, which marks a holiday known as Epiphany. Epiphany celebrates the arrival of the Magi, or Three Wise Men, to deliver their gifts to baby Jesus. While one might expect an Epiphany celebration to be much like the rest of Christmas festivities, apparently in Shakespeare's day the celebrations were known to be quite wild. Shakespeare in particular wrote the play in 1602 for a festivity held at one of the Inns of Court, and that particular festivity was known to be "absolutely secular and even quite bawdy," meaning having absolutely nothing...
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