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Shakespeare: Twelfth Night

  • About this Course
  • About this Lecturer

About this Course

In this course, we explore several aspects of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. We begin by thinking about the play’s status as a comedy, before looking at a number of aspects of the play and its performance. In particular, we explore the themes of grief and love, the use of animal imagery in the play, and the issue of gender in the play, focusing in particular on Sebastian and Viola.

About the Lecturer

Sophie Duncan is currently a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Calleva Centre, Magdalen College, University of Oxford, working on the project "Adults at Play(s)", which looks at Shakespearean and Greek tragedy.

She completed her DPhil "Shakespeare's Women and the Fin de Siecle" in August 2013, after two years and ten months of study. Her first job was as Stipendiary Lecturer in English at St Catherine's College, University of Oxford, and she has taught widely across the university and was also a College Lecturer at Keble.

Her doctoral research focused on a group of actresses which includes Ellen Terry, Mrs Patrick Campbell, Lillie Langtry and Madge Kendal, although anyone board-treading and female is of interest to her. Using Shakespeare to illuminate 1890s culture has led her in all kinds of surprising directions: from Ruskin to pornography, and from Dracula to the suffragettes! She love archives, public engagement and working with theatre companies. She spends a lot of time forcing sordid Victorian facts on unsuspecting family members.