1600 Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

love this play!  It's funny and heartfelt, it has several interesting characters, and the plot moves along at a good pace.  It's full of misunderstandings and mistakes, and Shakespeare's play with words is astounding.  I think he must have put a lot of himself into Viola, perhaps thinking on her as a daughter (like Jane Austen is said to have done with her heroines).  Viola is smart and sweet and always on top of things.  She's never left behind in the word-play.  In fact, she often comes back with extremely witty remarks to other characters' half-way witty comments.

While reading this play, I couldn't help but feel transported through time, imagining that I was standing in the pit of Shakespeare's theatre surrounded by the crowd, and watching the play on the stage.  I think reading a biography of Shakespeare right before made that seem a bit more real to me this time.  The movie (Twelfth Night 1996), as well, really helps bring the characters to life.  The actors do a great job and it is very close to the original play.  I highly recommend both reading the play and seeing the movie to catch everything!  

I read the Folger Shakespeare version, which has excellent notes that you don't have to flip to the back of the book for.  Their notes are quite extensive as well, including everything that might in any way be confusing, which is helpful for the Shakespeare novices like me!