In-Crisis Characters: Viola, Maria, And Longe, By William Shakespeare

1184 Words5 Pages
William Shakespeare was well known for creating complex, in-crisis characters for all of his works. He understood that, due to human nature, a person’s character is made up of a combination of virtues and vices, and people’s actions are more heavily influenced by their vices than their virtues. Therefore, his characters reflect this element of human nature, which is apparent in their interactions with one another. Each character is working toward their own specific goal based upon their key virtues and vices. Ultimately, vices tend to have a bigger impact on Shakespeare’s characters’ actions because he wants their individual humanity to teach lessons about humanity and what it means to “live well” to his audiences. Aristotle once said, “……show more content…
This allows Viola, Maria, and Feste to, in a sense, become figures of virtues and do what they can to pull the others away from their excess. Viola calls Olivia out on her self-pity by interrupting her state of mourning by calling her selfish for not sharing her beautiful features with the world and keeping herself locked away in darkness. She tells Olivia, “Lady, you are the cruel’st she alive / if you will lead these graces to the grave / and leave the world no copy,” (1.5. 236-238). She also, in a sense, helps Orsino come out of his self-righteous nature because he falls in love with her for her. He stops his shallow pining for…show more content…
He tells Olivia that she is foolish for fake-mourning in the manner that she is; yet he is able to lighten up Olivia’s mood when she is angry with him. He tells Toby it is alright to have some fun but his drinking and merrymaking quickly becomes too much and is not appreciated by many of those around him. As far as Malvolio is concerned, Feste, along with most of the other characters, thinks he is too serious and needs an attitude change and does not hesitate to let him know it. Shakespeare’s characters are as flawed as they are virtuous. It is a reflection of reality that drives the plots of his works. In “Twelfth Night,” all of the characters are affected by each other’s vices, their excesses. However, some of the characters are not as bound to a vice so they are able to (attempt in some cases) to show what it means to live apart from one’s excess. These virtuous people help improve the quality of life for many. Vices, the opposite of virtues, often keep people from living the best life they can. This belief is reflected in Shakespeare’s

More about In-Crisis Characters: Viola, Maria, And Longe, By William Shakespeare

Open Document