Twelfth Night: Communication


Language is the great fabric
of communication in the play. It’s what Shakespeare loved
more than anything. In Viola, he’s given her these beautiful
lines and made her an extraordinary poet.Most honourable lady
of the house, which is she?
Um… Speak to me.
I shall answer for her. Your will?♪ Most radiant♪ Exquisite♪ Unmatchable beauty… ♪It’s through language
that people become seduced. It’s through language
that people fall in love. I think, for him, language was
the primary tool of seduction and of life. “Remember who commended
thy yellow stockings “and wished to see thee
ever cross-gartered. “I say remember. Go to thou art made,
if thou desirest to be so. “If not, let me see thee a steward still, “the fellow of servants and not worthy
to touch fortune’s fingers…” (AUDIENCE LAUGHS) Of course, the letter is no different
from an email or a text. It’s simply a non-digitalised way
of communicating. The same way we get very anxious
about an email or a text these characters get anxious about
a letter — they carry a lot of importance. (SPLASHING AND LAUGHTER) She returns… ..this ring to you, sir. You might have saved me my pains. (AUDIENCE LAUGHS)Giving me the ring
is like a coded message.
Malvolia doesn’t know
that I didn’t leave the ring.
Viola very quickly
cottons on to the code
and says, “No, she took the ring from me.
I won’t have it back.”
..it be to report
your lord’s taking of this. — Receive it so.
— She took the ring ofme.
I’ll none of it.So keeps that under wraps, but when
she’s left alone, she’s like, “Oh!
“I didn’t leave a ring with her.”
She works out, “Oh, she loves me.”
The ring being the symbol of marriage
and things like that — relationships.
Well, the ring is a useful contrivance —
the idea this ring has been sent by Orsino to Olivia,
and needs to be returned. Everyone’s trying to write
their own stories, trying to write their own destinies. At the same time, just what they think
is happening, the opposite is. So Shakespeare finds it very funny
that, as human beings, we’re trying to write our own stories,
we’re trying to control our own lives, but there’s always a force,
there’s always a writer in the sky that knows the ending that we don’t.

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