Twelfth Night: by the numbers

Twelfth Night

So here’s the numerical breakdown…

  • 2462 total lines; shorter than the average play (2768); slightly longer than average comedy (2425)
  • Act One, Scene Four is the shortest of its kind in the Canon (42 lines)
  • Act One, Scene Five, Act Two, Scene Five, and Act Three, Scene Four are the longest of their kind in the Canon
  • Act One: 580 lines; about the length of average play (582); much longer than the average comedy (488); more first act scenes of any comedy
  • Act Two: 586 lines; longer than average (play: 567, comedy: 495)
  • Act Three: 668 lines; much longer than average (play: 576), comedy: 512); longest of all comedies
  • Act Four: 227 lines; MUCH shorter than average (play: 560, comedy: 460); shortest fourth act of any play in the Canon
  • Act Five: 401 lines; shorter than average (play: 484, comedy: 471); with only one scene, it is tied with The Comedy of Errors and A Midsummer Night’s Dream for fewest fifth act scenes.
  • 1562 lines of prose (63.44% of total lines, which is much more than average [play:26.32%; comedy: 46.71%]); compare with The Comedy of Errors: 13.31%, Titus Andronicus: 1.39%, The Taming of the Shrew: 20.82%, 1HenryVI: 0.37%, 2HenryVI: 16.64%, 3HenryVI: 0.14%, Richard III: 2.89%, Love’s Labor’s Lost: 35.08%, The Two Gentlemen of Verona: 26.81%, A Midsummer Night’s Dream: 19.75%, Romeo and Juliet: 14.18%, King John: 0.0%, The Merchant of Venice: 21.79%, Richard II: 0%, 1HenryIV: 44.7%, 2HenryIV: 50.36%, HenryV: 40.89%, Merry Wives: 88.20%, As You Like It: 56.12%, Much Ado: 77.78%, and Caesar: 7.47%)
  • 150 rhyming lines (6.09% of total lines, which is lower than average [play: 8.35%; comedy: 15.50%]; compare with Comedy: 20.10%, Titus: 2.42%, Taming: 3.93%, 1HenryVI: 9.79%, 2HenryVI: 3.16%, 3HenryVI: 5.37%, Richard III: 7.55%, LLL: 40.86%, 2Gents: 35.08%, Midsummer: 43.5%, Romeo: 16.61%, King John: 6.19%, Merchant: 5.16%, Richard II: 18.95%, 1HenryIV: 1.04%, 2HenryIV: 2.32%, HenryV: 1.80%, Merry Wives: 3.79%, As You Like It: 10.87%, and Much Ado: 2.43%, and Caesar: 0.41%)
  • 18 scenes; fewer than average play (21); slightly more than average comedy (16)
  • 18 characters; much less than average (play: 36; comedy: 22)

Check out our “by the numbers” breakdown as an infographic!

Twelfth Night: By the Numbers (jpeg; thumbnail)

[download the pdf (546 kB)]

Also, the below graphic gives a representation of which characters appear in what scenes in the play.

Julius Caesar: breakdown of which characters appear in what scenes
Twelfth Night: breakdown of which characters appear in what scenes


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