Lies About Books: Twelfth Night

It’s March! Did you know that? I knew that. You can tell by looking outside, where the name of the month is written in six-foot blocks of ice. It being March, it’s about time to write some more lies about books!

In the last month, I have read William Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night.

In Twelfth Night, identical strangers Viola and Sebastian meet by chance on a boat, and – each unsatisfied with their lives – decide to switch places for twelve days, and meet back up at the end of that time.

Each embarks on an adventure that will change the course of their lives; Viola wrestles with questions of identity and gender roles, while Sebastian quickly forms a cadre of new nemeses. When the two reunite on the twelfth night of their exchange, a mysterious fairy appears to them and offers to make the change permanent. Viola is all too happy to accept, but Sebastian is ready for his life back. Can their dilemma be resolved within five iambic-pentameter acts?

Filled with adventure and romance, humour and sweetness, Twelfth Night is a hell of a ride, and Shakespeare’s first story with a transgendered/nonbinary protagonist. I recommend it to any fans of gay pirates, traded identities, or identical strangers.

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