Over fall break whilst visiting home I decided to attend a production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night that my high school was putting on. While it was no production by the American Shakespeare Center it was nonetheless enjoyable. I tend to enjoy watching things where I personally know people acting in them and for this I did. Unlike the “Lights On” experience of the American Shakespeare Center’s plays this was quite the opposite. A lot of my high schools plays are performed in our black box theater. Loyola has its own black box theater and it’s a type of theater that is a very small room that is all black to get a very intimate connection between the audience and members of the play. I’ve performed in a black box theater before and when you are on stage, which is ground level, all the bright lights drown out your vision of the audience so it’s as if you are performing as if no one is there. For certain people this eliminates an element of stage fright and as the audience watching they are experiencing acting full out, up close and personal.
While watching the play I was able to connect some of the themes within it to other works of literature we have read for class. One thing I noticed was Shakespeare’s love of deception, both within his works and to the readers. Twelfth Night was obviously full of deception and the play was centered around it. In Twelfth Night there is a very complex love triangle, I’m not even sure you can consider it a triangle though because it was far more complex than that. This love web is all caused by people not having a clear view as to who others truly are. Not only did Shakespeare deceive his characters in this play but I feel like in his other piece of work that we have read this semester, the poem My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun, he deceived us as readers too. Throughout this poem Shakespeare continually seems to put down his mistress. It wasn’t until we discussed in class that I realized this wasn’t really the case. What he was really doing was making fun of how people compare others using fairy tale like qualities that don’t exist. He was really showing his love for her and being real about it, without any silly nonsense. Thinking about this theme of deception makes me connect back to what I’ve been saying all semester long. Things really shouldn’t be taken at face value and should really be looked into more to gain a full understanding. I should have done so with the poem and the characters in the play should have done so as to not be fooled by one another. This goes along with what I’ve been commenting on about bias’ all semester, you shouldn’t just judge people at first glance, take some time to actually get to know them.
Like I said before Twelfth Night contains a complex love web. When the web is untangled in the end and people find out who others are lots of couples end up together or fall in love with one another without really knowing the person for who they are. We’ve seen this theme of the casualness of love in other class readings and have discussed it in class. One particular poem I remember discussing in class was To His Coy Mistress. In this poem the narrator is basically rushing things and talks about how he basically just wants to “get with” this girl. This led to a class discussion on sex and whether it’s okay for it to be causal or not, and if it has become this way in today’s society. I think there should be a limit on what’s considered causal and what isn’t though.
Overall with thinking about all of these reading and this play I think a moral can be concluded, that being that things should be taken slowly with small steps, don’t rush yourself. People shouldn’t rush into things such as love and sex, as they are things to be cherished not abused. As with the biases too, like I said before don’t judge upon first glance. And as always with readings and what not take some time to understand and comprehend them.