Shakespeare's texts are plays and thus were designed to be performed. The audience for these texts would receive them orally/aurally as speech. For a long time, this was the only possible exposure to Shakespeare's Twelfth Night because there were no printed versions of the text available to the general public. But, the plays were later published and now most people are exposed to Shakespeare through his written words and not the spoken enactment of them. The strict division between spoken presence and written word is instable. Hearing and watching a spoken enactment of the play may lead to very different understandings than simply reading the written word. Yet, both "readings" are Twelfth Night. In addition, the spoken words of the play do not exist without the written version. And reading the written version, whether aloud or to oneself is a way of reenacting the spoken dialogue. Both their existences are necessary for the play to exist.

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