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MHS Library | Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night in 3 panels

Man Ray's Shakespearean Equations: Twelfth Night

Man Ray's Shakespearean Equations: Twelfth Night

Working in Hollywood in the late 1940s, Man Ray (American, 1890–1976) created the Shakespearean Equations, a series of paintings that he considered to be the apogee of his creative vision. Drawing on photographs of 19th-century mathematical models he made in the 1930s, the series was a culmination of 15 years of exploration of the theme in a variety of mediums. Man Ray–Human Equations displays side-by-side for the first time the original plaster, wood, papier-mâché, and string models from the Institut Henri Poincaré in Paris, Man Ray’s inventive photographs of these unusual forms, and the Shakespearean Equations paintings they inspired. Placed in context with his other paintings, photographs, and objects, these works illustrate the artist’s proclivity to create art that objectifies the body and humanizes the object, transforming everyday materials into novel forms of creative expression. (Read more)

Twelfth Night Crash Course

Why 'Twelfth Night'?

The play’s title refers to a Christian festival: Twelfth Night (the night before the feast of Epiphany), which is celebrated on the 5th or 6th of January as the twelfth day of Christmas. Twelfth Night was traditionally a time of folk-plays and wassailing, and Epiphany a day of practical jokes, not unlike April Fool's Day. Epiphany celebrates the revelation of God in his human son Jesus; some critics have seen this reflected in the 'revelation' of the previously hidden Viola and Sebastian.  -

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What is your parentage?

Audio Book of Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night Print resources

Essays on Twelfth Night

822.33D SHA HUN Hunter, G.K. Shakespeare: the late comedies (1962) 

822.33D SHA PIT Pitt, Angela Shakespeare’s women (1981) 

822.33D SHA RIE Riemer, A.P. Antic fables: patterns of evasion in Shakespeare’s comedies (1980) 

ST 820.9 VIE Tweg, Sue Twelfth Night: ‘Put me into good fooling’ in Viewpoints 87 

822 33D SHA VIE Worth, Christopher Love and music in Twelfth Night (1990) in Viewpoints on Shakespeare 

There are many useful chapters in books on Shakespeare and his plays grouped under 822.33 on the non-fiction shelves.
For dramatic productions see 792.025; filmed productions see 791.436, ; Elizabethan England see 942.055.

Articles on the web

A queer reading of Twelfth Night - Miranda Fay Thomas (The British Library)

History of the Twelfth Night celebration

The celebration of Twelfth Night traditionally takes place on either January 5th (yesterday) or January 6th (today) depending on whether you choose to count from Christmas Day or the day after.  The holiday celebrates the Epiphany, or the coming of the Magi to visit the Christ Child 12 days after His birth, and has been celebrated for centuries in Christian countries with feasting, drinking, and general merriment.   Twelfth Night is also the title of one of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies, a play about love and folly.  While the main plot of the play is about the main characters finding the person they love (with lots of cross-dressing, mistaken identity and confusion along the way), the major sub-plot of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night is about the tensions between the puritanical character, Malvolio, who frowns on feasting and frivolity, and the fool, Feste, who is all for mirth in the moment, declaring that “present mirth hath present laughter.” (Source: Provenance Online Project)

Shakespeare lives in 2016

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