twelfth night

Back To The Classics Challenge 2012 – Completion

I love the classics and I loved this challenge. It wasn’t hard but things could have been easier if I wasn’t so pressed for time in 2012. Thanks to  Sarah at Sarah Reads Too Much for hosting it!

Completed Books: 1. A Classic Play – A Midsummer Night’s Dream. William Shakespeare.

2. Read a Classic set in a Country that you (realistically speaking) will not visit during your lifetime  – Twelfth Night. William Shakespeare.

3. Classic Mystery/Horror/Crime Fiction – The Big Bow Mystery. Israel Zangwill.

4. Reread a classic of your choice – The Hound of the Baskervilles. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. 

5. Read a Classic that has been translated from its original language to your language – Aslauga’s Knight. Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué. 

6. Any 20th Century Classic – The Railway Children. Edith Nesbit.

7. Any 19th Century Classic – Bleak House. Charles Dickens

8. Classic Award Winner  The Plague. Albert Camus.

9. Classic Romance – Evelina. Fanny Burney.

Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare


Twelfth Night, also known as  What You Will, by William Shakespeare was written sometime between 1601 and 1602. It was written as a Twelfth Night’s entertainment for the close of the Christmas season.

Viola and her twin brother Sebastian are shipwrecked off the coast of Illyria. Believing her brother to be dead, Viola disguises herself as a young boy. Now going by the name Cesario, she becomes the page of Duke Orsino. Duke Orsino is in love with Lady Olivia who doesn’t reciprocate his feelings. Matters get complicated when Lady Olivia falls for Cesario (who is actually Viola in disguise) and Viola secretly loves the Duke, who believes that she is a ‘man’.

Like many of Shakespeare’s other plays the main theme of Twelfth Night is ‘mistaken identities’. Plays like The Comedy of Errors  and to a certain extent A Midsummer Night’s Dream employs the same plot devise.

Viola’s cross-dressing reminds me of Portia’s exploits in  The Merchant of Venice. Portia, though, was much more assertive than Viola. Female’s disguising themselves as males is another common theme in Shakespeare’s plays. Their disguises give both Viola and Portia freedom normally not granted to women. They can voice their opinions without the fear of repercussions and take part in the proceedings of the play much more actively than ordinarily possible. I find this implicit hint of female emancipation to be quite remarkable.

Sir Toby Belch, Maria, Sir Andrew Aguecheek and Feste the fool are involved in a separate childish plot against Lady Olivia’s steward Malvolio. This sub-plot is a bit sillier than the rest of the story. Surprisingly, this part of the narrative takes up more space than the central story.

Overall, I enjoyed Twelfth Night. Seems like Shakespeare’s comedies are the thing for me!

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The Friday 56

The Friday 56 is a bookish meme hosted by Freda’s Voice.

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Link up at Freda’s site

Today’s sentence comes from Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare.

SIR TOBY: Here comes the little villain: how now my metal of India?

Teaser Tuesday (Jan.10)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read

• Open to a random page

• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
My Teaser:

DUKE: If music be the food of Love, play on,

Give me the excess of it: that surfeiting,

The appetite may sicken, and so die.”

~ p.23,Twelfth Night” by William Shakespeare.

Welcome Home: Books that Arrived in July & August 2011

” ‘Tell me what you read and I’ll tell you who you are’ is true enough, but I’d know you better if you told me what you reread.” – François Mauriac.

I love to re-read old favourites. They shape who I am. They also tell what I am likely to read in the future. The list of books I bought in the months of July and August  do have a lot in common with my frequently re-read books, plays, classics and of course, mysteries. Hope fully these books will also become a part of my frequently re-read books.

Here are the books I bought in the months of July and August.

July 20, 2011.

The Chronicles of Narnia.  C. S. Lewis.

This is a paperback edition of the complete Narnia saga. As a child, the TV series The Chronicles of Narnia was one of my favourites. I haven’t seen the recent big screen version of it but the buzz generated by the movies and the fond childhood memories have finally made me buy this. But who knows when I would be able to actually read this gigantic volume!

August 9, 2011.

By the Pricking of My Thumbs. Agatha Christie.

Science Fiction Stories. Edward Blishen (ed.)

It’s Only a Movie : Alfred Hitchcock – A Personal Biography. Charlotte Chandler.      

A Midsummer Night’s Dream. William Shakespeare.    

Twelfth Night. William Shakespeare.    

I have yet to try any of my favourite Agatha Christie’s Tommy and Tuppence books. I have decided to start with By the Pricking of My Thumbs.

I picked up another from the Red Hot Reads series. I had enjoyed their Detective Stories so much that I couldn’t resist their Science Fiction Stories compiled by Edward Blishen.

It has been ages since I read any non-fiction so picked up It’s Only a Movie : Alfred Hitchcock – A Biography by Charlotte Chandler. I have always admired Alfred Hitchcock’s work. His Rear Window and Rope are two of my favourites. His biography might be interesting to read.


A bunch of Penguin Popular Classics editions of Shakespeare’s plays were going for real cheap at another book store. Picked up A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Twelfth Night.

So, these are my books for the months of July and August. Hoping to read them soon!