This play is one of Shakespeare’s silliest. He uses a lot of wordplay in this one, though I do think he went a bit too far with one little detail he includes. In Act 1 Scene 2 Viola states that she’s going to disguise herself as a eunuch so she could gain access to the Duke’s court to obtain work, a cunning plan that would enable her to publically exploit her singing talents as a castrati. Yet considering the events of the play as a whole, a literal interpretation of Viola’s plan doesn’t make sense. If Viola’s really disguising herself as a eunuch at the Duke’s court, why does Olivia, the Duke’s love interest, fall in love with Cesario, i.e. Viola, and want to marry him? It’s truly crazy! ;) Though I suppose it could be argued that this is just another example of Shakespeare’s wordplays—that he is employing a philosophical usage of the term, a figurative castration… a forced rejection of one’s sex for another due to the social constraints of the time.
Do I believe this? No. Could it simply be just a minor error on Shakespeare’s part, since he does fail to mention Viola’s eventual position of employment in the Duke’s court? Sure. Though, it certainly adds to the comic effect of the play, which is something Shakespeare was probably going for. :)
I do love some of the names in this play, in particular, Sir Toby Belch and Sir Andrew Ague-cheek. ;) They’re so colorful that it doesn’t take much imagination to determine what their chief pleasure in life happens to be (drink). And probably had they heard Caliban’s description of that “celestial liquor,” they’d be loath to call it anything else. ;)
Certainly silly, even crazy at times, but it’s still a lot of fun. And several famous lines originate from this play, for instance, "If music be the food of love..." "Why, some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrown upon them."