Ans. There are many passages in Shakespeare’s plays introduced by him to suit the action of some of his colleagues. He inserted an unusual number of songs in Twelfth Night to take advantage of the power of an actor then in his company, who had a fine voice. These songs are introduced as songs only. just as songs are in real life beautifully, as some of them are characteristic of the person who has sung or called for them-(Coleridge). Importance of songs and music in Twelfth Night
The play abounds in many fragments of songs, which proceed from the Clown. This is because the Clown of the stage is descended from the domestic Clown whose chief duty was to entertain his master and the household and in the company of actors who performed the plays of Shakespeare, there was one who was gifted with a fine voice and who took the part of the Clown.
Most of these fragments of songs scattered through this drama, are to be found in Percy’s ‘Reliques’. Some of them also occur in the works of other dramatists. Their origin is lost in obscurity. “The earliest political miscellany in our language was first printed in 1557, under the title of “Songs and Sonnets” by the Right Honourable Henry Howard, late Earl Surrey, and others.
To this very popular collection which underwent many editions during the sixteenth century, Slender alludes in the Merry Wives of Windsor where he exclaims, ” had rather than forty shillings I had my books of “Songs and Sonnets” here, from which we may conclude that this was the fashionable manual for lovers in the age of Elizabeth. Importance of songs and music in Twelfth Night
Music in twelfth night essay
Shakespeare frequently introduces changes into the songs to adapt them to the anger or to render them elucidatory of the business of the scene. The lines are spoken by the Duke in our play, “The spinsters and the knitters in the sun, Do use to chant it.” Illustrate a custom of the spinning maid who when winter evenings fall early, sitting at her merry whee! sings a defiance to the giddy wheel of fortunes. There are three classes of songs in the comedy, e.g., purely comic.
Importance of songs and music in Twelfth Night
Twelfth night music role
Taken together they reflect the very mood of characters and scenes, add to the romantic, humorous and musical value of the play and diffuse the prevailing atmosphere of comedy as well as of romantic love. The play opens with strains of music that touches the love-sick soul of Orsino if only for a short time. Significantly, all three songs are sung by the Clown. Importance of songs and music in Twelfth Night
In the first song which occurs in Act II, Scene lIll there is an undercurrent note of melancholy in that it adds poignancy to the happiness by reminding us. of the insecurity of mortal things. The second song is the song of Feste in Act I1, Scene IV. This sad strain was sung evidently with taste and feeling by Feste to please the Duke so well helps to point us to the real character of the jester.
The true significance of the great dramatist’s putting this wailing dirge into the Crown’s mouth seems to me to be that he wishes to indicate this conception of the character as that of one whose culture and native gifts have both been overborne by some imperious and ineradicable foibles aided by the force of circumstances. Importance of songs and music in Twelfth Night
Capacity for thought and capacity for sentiment still manifested by his musical ability and the power with which he rendered this song, indicate the versatility of mind and character. This little poem is onə of Shakespeare’s loveliest lyrics. It expresses the soft and melting moans in which his (the Duke’s) days pass, lapped in a nerveless melancholy.
Significance of music and songs in twelfth night
“It gives a very echo to the seat where love is throned.” The third song is also sung by the Clown at the close of the play. It “seems to be the most philosophical Clown’s song upon record, and a treatise might be written upon its wisdom. Importance of songs and music in Twelfth Night
it is the history of a life, from the condition of a little tiny boy, through man’s estate, ‘to decaying age'”When I came into my bed-and the conclusion seems to be this what is true of the individual is true of the species; What was of yesterday was of generations long past away-for ‘A great while ago the world began 7 This song has some of the forum pathos of Ring Lear.
The rain that raineth every day, the men who shut their gates against knaves and thieves, the world that began a great while ago, are like disconnected dim memories or portents, troubling the mind of a child.” Importance of songs and music in Twelfth Night