Sample English Essay Paper on Twelfth Night by Kenneth Branagh

            The movie ‘Twelfth Night” by Kenneth Branagh starts with an offset camera shot of viola conversing with the captain of the sea, where the rest of the film episodes takes place. The setting of the movie is on the courtyard zone placed outside Olivia’s homestead for the entire duration of the film. Indeed, allowing the entire play to take place within the same environment or area is indeed monotonous and restrictive. There are numerous episodes of this movie that would have been played in a different area or place. The setting is characterized by cold and snow, which mirrors the title of the film’ the twelfth night”. The setting of a movie can determine the manner in which the audience interprets the film. Overall, the film was amazing and I would recommend to any person that requires a movie that is informative, educative and enthralling.

The challenges in reading Shakespeare

            Nevertheless, I encountered several challenges while watching the film. In particular, reading any of Shakespeare’s works can sometimes prove difficult and frustrating to the audience. Indeed, international students without proper fluency in English find it more challenging when reading or watching any of Shakespeare’s works.  The style of writing and the variance in the language used by Shakespeare during the early times and the contemporary times makes it even more challenging. Most of the plays by Shakespeare are well-understood when performed. Reading the plays even for the audience that is conversant in language may prove difficult. While watching the film, the twelfth night, it was sometimes difficult to keep track of the different characters and their connection with each other. It is also difficult to recall the characters in the various episodes or scenes.

Your feelings about translations of Shakespeare into modern English

            Essentially, translation entails rewriting and performing in modern style. As mentioned earlier, any attempts to translate Shakespeare’s works may distort the original message. In all his plays and texts, Shakespeare uses an infinite variety of language. Even though translating means replacing the texts into a simpler language, it becomes difficult to interpret some of the phrases into simple sentences without altering the intended message. A person must understand the meaning behind the words for a better understanding of the characters, the plot and the relationships in the play. Indeed, any attempt of allowing students to learn and interpret Shakespeare’s language without a guide is one way of closing down their fortunes in life. Some people may require some assistance with the language. Shakespeare’s plays and text are meant for performance and not for critical assessment and things may take a different course when the play moves from one stage to the other. Therefore, the translation of Shakespeare’s works may distort the intended message.

            However, if one must do the translation, then the person should be careful not to alter the meaning of the words or the message conveyed. Translation can result in the loss of taste, value, and significance of the message put across. Any person that believes that Shakespeare’s works should be translated is particularly being unfair to the actors, tutors, and learners whose primary role is to give life to the language. Some people prefer reading and watching Shakespeare in its original form without making any translation to have a taste of the rich language used by Shakespeare. Indeed, in nearly all his works, Shakespeare conveys the message figuratively. His intention is to give the reader the opportunity of reading through the text or watching the plays and make inferences. It is unimaginable to read or watch the play that has been translated into modem language. The form and structure of the language will be altered. Also, the composition will be altered.

            The interpretation of the message during the translation may also conflict with the original purpose. In fact, if everyone was given the opportunity of doing the interpretation, the message will differ from one person to the other.  Furthermore, some of the words only exist in Shakespeare’s arena and require a profound understanding to know their implication. The theme may also change to fit the translator’s idea. Indeed, any passion that feels passionate about the works of Shakespeare will consider the notion of translation horrifying. As mentioned herein,   Shakespeare is rich in the usage of language and often presents a glorious wonder if one can understand the text or play and gets underneath it. Therefore, the idea of foregoing that for a plain language is rather distressing and underwhelming. But, if one can have an effective translation of Shakespeare’s play, it is recommendable to match it against the original version to ensure the message has been retained.  It is even more overwhelming to translate word for word and expect to retain the meaning.

            Twelfth Night is one of the favorites and best plays by Shakespeare that I have ever read. I am thrilled that it has been one of the plays in the course outline. It is debatable to determine the scene that is most favorite in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Each person may have varying preferences regarding this matter. Some people are somewhat partial the scenes that are romantic in the play, such as in Act One, Scene One, particularly when Orsino professes his unreciprocated love for Olivia. Other people may prefer Sir Toby and Andrew that engage in ridiculous activities in Act Three, Scene Four.  Having said that, therefore, my most favorite scene in the film is Act Three, Scene four in which the Malvolio, the ill-tempered servant obtains his rewards at the hands of Maria, Sir Andrew, and Sir Toby. The three characters are already exhausted by Malvolio’s ‘righteous ‘attitude and his enthusiasm to trap others in trouble. Therefore, they decide to fool Malvolio by sending him a counterfeit love letter from Olivia. The letter says that Malvolio must appear before Olivia dressed in yellow, cross-gartered leggings.  Malvolio falls for the trick and tries to profess his love to Olivia who was rather confused about the behavior of Malvolio. The scene is filled with miscommunication and hysterical sexual misunderstandings, for example, when Olivia asks Malvolio whether he was ready to bed, which implies resting in his quarters. Malvolio misinterprets this message to mean sleeping with Olivio and agrees without hesitating. Eventually, Malvolio feels humiliated before his employer which is perceived as comedic payout for the characters in the play as well as the audience that had been attentive to the dry, dull conversation. Furthermore, this scene also includes one of the most famous quotes by Shakespeare which has also been quoted in the love letter.

            Indeed, in this play, my favorite characters include Viola, Olivia, Sir Toby Belch, and Anton Lesser.   Viola played her role in a very low-spirited way. It is sad to admit that Viola could not live with the man she loved because the man she loved was unaware of her existence.  Indeed, when Viola presents herself to Olivia for the duke, she received a cold welcome. On the other hand, Olivia, Sir Toby Belch, and Anton Lesser are characters that played their respective roles very well and they fitted their circumstances as desired by the producer. Olivia was lovely, elegant, funny, and accomplished her role with great comedic timing. Sir Toby Belch made the play seem easy and made comic reliefs when deemed necessary. Finally, Anton Lesser played his role very well.

             Overall, the ‘Twelfth Night” by Kenneth Branagh is an amusing play that is both informative and educative.  As the play unfolds, it seems boring and harsh.  The setting is characterized by cold and snow, which mirrors the title of the film’ the twelfth night”. The setting of a movie can determine the manner in which the audience interprets the film. Furthermore, some of the characters made the play more boring than comic. Nevertheless, some of the actors were comic such as Malvolio and they brought humor. Some of the scenes were indeed full of humor which triggered suspense throughout the entire play.  Several questions that surfaced in the play include: why would some of the characters allow surrounding circumstances to dictate their life?  Overall, the film was amazing and I would recommend to any person that requires a movie that is informative, educative and enthralling.