Why does Twelfth Night end on a sour note?

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Although specific productions may vary in terms of how the play's ending is portrayed, in general the play's ending could be said to have an atypical ending for a romance/comedy. Malvolio is the butt of an elaborate practical joke, and since the character takes himself so seriously, and is possessed of string feelings, his humiliation leads him to storm off after an angry speech. This outburst may dampen the mood of the romantic revelations spoken by the lovers. As well, the fact that the Captain falls in love with Viola when she is dressed like a boy adds what may be an uncomfortable (again, dependent on the production) or awkward suggestion of homoeroticism, which may or may not be resolved when he declares his desire to see her in her "woman's weeds." It is not clear if he will love her as a woman, since, although most productions end with her dressed in feminine clothes, some productions may opt to have her remain clothed as a man. But this sexual ambiguity is common for a number of Shakespeare's comedies that utilize mistaken identity or disguise.

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