Sunday, June 03, 2012

What Kind of Fool Am I? (Parte the Seconde)




Fool for a Day or Night, especially Twelfth Night?

From Declan Donnellan, Artistic Director of Cheek by Jowl: “Twelfth Night, or 6 January, is the occasion for the Feast of Fools when masters and servant reversed status and played each other. But more importantly Twelfth Night is also the Feast of the Epiphany. A solemn feast of the Catholic Church, it is the night of the Magi's visit to the Christ child . . . the first moment when people in our world realized who Jesus actually was . . . It is the moment when the immanent is made manifest, the moment of human perception of the divine. Many writers, like James Joyce, were deeply concerned with this moment, and Shakespeare's plays are full of epiphanic revelations.”

Consider all the revelations in the last scene: Viola and Sebastian realize their greatest hope has come true – they are both alive; Orsino discovers whom he has grown to love and who has loved him; Olivia discovers whom she has married; Malvolio discovers that Olivia does not love him; Antonio discovers that Sebastian has not betrayed (and denied) him; Sir Andrew discovers that Sir Toby is no real friend. Some of these are miraculous, others are shattering, a few are likely both.


Fool for Love or Self-Love?

Plenty of characters act foolishly because of their infatuation with – and desire for – someone: Orsino over Olivia, Olivia over Viola over Cesario, Sir Andrew over Olivia (although he may be foolish no matter what), and certainly Malvolio over Olivia. While Malvolio's foolishness is most clearly based on an inflated sense of his personal qualities, that kind of folly is shared not only by Sir Andrew but also Orsino. In contrast, there's a noble folly shown by Viola in carrying out Orsino's wishes even though they would destroy her own – and by Antonio in risking everything for the sake of Sebastian. And perhaps Maria is a Fool for Love as well: her jest at Malvolio's expense certainly impresses Sir Toby; and the question remains whether Sir Toby is that great a catch for anyone.


Flatwater Shakespeare's Twelfth Night 
arrives soon!  All show times are at 7 p.m.

June 13-17 and 20-24 – Lincoln Community Foundation Garden (near 14th and N)
June 28 – Antelope Park (27th and A)
June 29 – Trago Park (22nd and T)
June 30 – Henry Park (44th and Prescott)
July 1 – Wyuka Cemetery (35th and O)
July 5 – First Plymouth Church (20th and D)
July 6 – Havelock Park (62nd and Havelock)
July 7 – Irvingdale Park (19th and Van Dorn)
July 8 – Bethany Park (66th and Vine)





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