William Shakespeare: Twelfth Night

(7019 words)
  • Nicholas Moschovakis (Independent Scholar - North America)


The earliest known text of Twelfth Night was printed in the First Folio of Shakespeare's plays (1623). But we can be sure that a finished version of the play existed by 2 February 1602 (N.S.) - the feast of Candlemas - when it was performed in the Great Hall of London's Middle Temple. A law student who was there, John Manningham, wrote in his diary that it was “much like The Comedy of Errors, or Men[a]echmi in Plautus, but most like . . . that in Italian called Inganni.”

Indeed, Twelfth Night's main plot - or at least its central chain of romantic devices - has a long Renaissance lineage that can be traced to an …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Moschovakis, Nicholas. "Twelfth Night". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 December 2007
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=8488, accessed 27 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. English Renaissance Theatre - Elizabethan