Compare and Contrast

1Who is your favorite character and why? Who do you dislike, why?

2. If you were acting in a production of the play, which character would you want to be? Why? Who would you not want to play? Why?

3.  Shakespeare sometimes gives his characters names that suit their personality. Look at Sir Toby Belch. What kind of a person does his name tell you he’d be like? What other characters have a similar clue in their name?

 

Relational

1. Do you think Sir Toby and his friends went too far with their trick on Malvolio? Or did he deserve it?

2. How would you react if you were treated the way Malvolio is treated by Sir Toby, Sir Andrew, and Maria?

3. Do you think all the couples at the end will live “happily ever after,” or not? Why?

 

Textual

1. Read Orsino’s famous speech at the top of the show. “If music be the food of love, play on.” Why do you think he says that? What does he mean?

2. Read all of the songs Feste sings. What is similar about them? What is different? Which was your favorite?

3. Read Act 2 Scene 3. Why do Sir Toby and Sir Andrew want to play a trick on Malvolio? Do you think it’s a good idea? Is there something else they could have done?

 

Shakespeare’s World

1. Is there anything that happens in this play that you wouldn’t see in the world today? Were these events common in Shakespeare’s time? Why?

2. What would it be like to see this play at Shakespeare’s theatre, The Globe, in the hot afternoon, standing up, with men playing all the roles (even Viola and Olivia)

3. How do you think Shakespeare would react if he knew that you were learning about his play more than 450 years after he wrote it?