The title of the play, Twelfth Night, holds the secret to its meaning. The play is named “Twelfth Night, or What You Will,” making it the only one of Shakespeare’s comedies to do so. Twelfth Night originated in medieval times as a celebration to mark the end of the Christmas season. In England, January 6th is celebrated as the end of the Christmas season; also known as the Feast of the Epiphany. It has been theorized that Twelfth Night was written for performance on Twelfth Night, which was January 6, 1602, likely at Queen Elizabeth’s court during the holiday season. In medieval times during the twelfth-night celebrations, people wore several disguises (men posing as women, servants posing as their masters, and so on). Elements of this are seen in the play, Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare.
Significance of the title Twelfth Night | Twelfth Night as a festive comedy. (2022, May 26). All About English Literature. https://www.eng-literature.com/2021/10/significance-of-the-title-twelfth-night-twelfth-night-as-a-festive-comedy.html
Twelfth Night. (2023, July 25). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved August 18, 2023, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelfth_Night#
“Twelfth Night, or what you will” – The meaning behind the title. (n.d.). A Company of Fools. https://pscompanyoffools.weebly.com/blog/-twelfth-night-or-what-you-will-the-meaning-behind-the-title