twelfth night"The way conflicts and contrasts are resolved along with the theme of 'mistaken identities' make the Twelfth Night a successful comedy." Discuss.

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the essential elements of Shakespearean comedy is that the romance comes right in the end. In Twelfth Night, this requirement is fulfilled: Sebastian gets Olivia, or rather Olivia gets Sebastian, and Orsino gets Viola, or rather Viola gets Orsino. Olivia and Orsino get ones who are different from the ones they originally aspire to, but the audience is convinced by circumstances and the personal traits of the characters that the ultimate pairs are the right pairs. Another essential element of comedy is that the Clown or Fool (Shakespeare often uses a rural Clown in comedy, but Feste represents more of an urban Fool) delivers important truths through verbal foolery that help reveal the character flaws of various characters: Feste succeeds in this.