Studies that try to solve textual problems such as finding the "correct reading" of "made" in Act II, scene ii, line 31 of Twelfth Night are strongly invested in discovering the "original meaning" of Shakespeare's words. Their goal is to discern exactly what Shakespeare "meant" at each stage in the text, whether a certain connotation of a word was intended or another. This exploration is of course complicated by the many different versions of the text. But, the reality is that this is a moot question. The meanings that modern readers find in Twelfth Night are just as valid as any other readings. We can look at the text historically and try to understand how Elizabethans regarded a word or an idea. But this does not get us any further. The meanings that they saw are not necessarily the ones that Shakespeare intended. And he may not have even clearly intended any meanings, or he may have failed to get others accross. No set of lines from Shakespeare can be dissected to find the True Meaning, instead we can only find the meanings for ourselves as readers.

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