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Analysis: Tone

Take a story's temperature by studying its tone. Is it hopeful? Cynical? Snarky? Playful?

Moody (as in Unstable and Erratic)

Festive, dark, you name it. Like the moody Duke Orsino (who you can read all about in our analysis of "Characters"), this play fluctuates between highs and lows in a matter of seconds. We're not complaining – we love emotional roller coasters. OK, now we hate them. No wait, now we love them again, especially when they oscillate (your SAT study word of the day) between the rebellious partying of Toby Belch, the mournful longing of Countess Olivia, the festive antics of the licensed Fool, and the hopelessly romantic musings of Viola. Who knew a play could have mood swings?

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