Twelfth Night has deception through the entire play. It changes the characters perspective on things, it can change their mind-set, and how they think. Deception occurs often in Twelfth Night, when Viola disguises herself as a man, and deceives everyone she meets. Then, when Malvolio is tricked by Maria, Sir Andrew, Sir Toby, and Fabian into believing Lady Olivia loves him. Lastly, when Malvolio is deceived by Feste into thinking there is a man named Sir Topas in the dark room with him.
Vanity, one of Twelfth Night 's major concerns, is displayed throughout the play by characters who are plagued with emotional conditions which prevent them from loving others. The lives of Illyria 's Duke Orsino and Countess Olivia, for example, remain circumscribed by vanity and narcissism. Similarly, Olivia 's steward, Malvolio, remains encumbered by vanity and narcissism, while Olivia 's Uncle Toby shows himself to be selfish, and his drinking partner, Sir Andrew, stands as a caricature of vanity. In contrast, Viola, an outsider shipwrecked upon Illyria 's shore, suffers solely from grief for her sea-drowned twin brother. In further contrast, Olivia 's lady-in-waiting, Maria, displays none of these characteristics, but instead operates as the play
The Reversed Gender Roles in Twelfth Night During the time of Shakespeare, women’s roles in the society were very limited, they had few rights, and many of their talents were likely to be ignored by men. However, in the play Twelfth Night, Shakespeare created female characters who are very intelligent, and they are the leading roles in the play. Because of the unexpected shipwreck, Viola is trapped in the foreign land of Illyria, and she has to become something she is not, a man, in order to get the position she wants. There are a lot of conflicts and misunderstanding happening around Orsino, Olivia, and Viola, because Shakespeare breaks the boundaries of society, and limitation of sex, and he keeps developing the confusions that the ambiguous gender roles can lead to. Usually, men are described as very loyal to their emotions, but in the play Twelfth Night, their image is reversed and their mind can be changed very easily.
The play, Twelfth Night, opens with a shipwrecked Viola landing in Illyria, and is employed in Duke Orsino’s service, disguised as her twin brother. Her occupation is wooing the Countess Olivia in favor of Duke Orsino; however, Olivia falls in love with the disguised Viola, who falls in love with the Duke but cannot express her true feelings. The love triangle evolves and continues to become more complicated when Viola’s thought-to-be dead twin brother Sebastian rolls into town. Traveling with him is Antonio who saved Sebastian in the shipwreck and has fallen deeply in love with him. While Sebastian is traversing Illyria, he runs into Olivia who assumes he is the disguised Viola and kisses him and continues to wed him.
The “actions and spirit” which Olivia refers to are Viola’s ability to converse with Olivia woman-to-woman, unbeknownst to the countess. Twelfth Night seems to present gender as a mask to be worn and taken off at will, a fluid concept that changes to suit one’s needs and emotions. By playing Cesario, Viola partly becomes this version of herself, so Olivia, by loving Cesario, has feelings for Viola by extension. When Sebastian makes his reveal, Olivia marries him for two reasons. The first is an external piece of reasoning, being that in Elizabethan comedies such as this, heterosexual pairings must happen for the play to follow the fairly strict expectations of a comedy.
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.
In regards to William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, the topic of gender seems quite controversial in terms of it ambiguous nature within the play. The source of the whole mess can be traced back to when Viola emerges from the sea with the resolution to dress as a man and serve the noble Duke Orsino. Her idea to crossdress is the origin of a chaotic confusion of carnal captivation which ends the same way it began-- somewhat obscure. This, in turn, generates the question: does Shakespeare’s ambiguity regarding gender create a sense of homoeroticism within the play? In Act 1, Scene 4, it does not take long to realize that Viola (who is using the name Cesario to conceal her identity) has fallen in love with Duke Orsino in a matter of three days: “Whoe’er I woo, myself would be his wife” (1.
Benvolio is one of the few characters who sticks to his moral values throughout the whole play. I believe that through his commitment to his morals, Benvolio becomes a very confident and courageous character. Benvolio’s prioritization to peace, sincere character, and truth all prove that he is one of the most courageous characters in the
Acting as a steward to Lady Olivia, Malvolio is forced to continuously interact with her rowdy, drunkard uncle, Sir Toby, his equally disruptive companion, Sir Andrew, and his vengeful servant, Maria, all of who continuously force Malvolio to reprimand their behavior on behalf of Olivia. Following a serious episode in which Malvolio professes that if Maria valued Lady Olivia’s approval “at anything more than contempt” she would stop providing alcohol to Toby and Andrew, the trio concocts a plan to exploit Malvolio high opinion of himself to execute their revenge. Maria’s idea of dropping “some obscure epistle of love” that will be interpreted as Lady Olivia’s profession of romantic feelings for Malvolio demonstrates her acknowledgment, of how
Twelfth Night is about illusion, deception, disguises, madness, and the extraordinary things that love will cause us to do. Performed in front of millions and loved by the Elizabethans even her majesty Queen Elizabeth I. Twelfth Night, considered by many scholars to be one of the finest Elizabethan romantic comedies, offers a penetrating examination of gender