Viola In Shakespeare's Twelfth Night

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Marriage: the only possible career for women of the Elizabethan era. Women were raised to entirely depend on men, act solely as a bearer of children and an obedient companion. Twelfth Night, a famous comedic play by Shakespeare, was written during this time, yet one of the female characters in this play is fails to meet this description. The protagonist, Viola, has a mind of her own despite being told that women are inferior. She is one of Shakespeare’s most esteemed creations and the characterization of this young female greatly contrasts with others. In Twelfth Night, Viola is undoubtedly, a strong female character who is resourceful and makes decisions for herself. Foremost, Viola possesses the character traits of resourcefulness and…show more content…
Through her speech she says aside, Viola announces her immediate recognition of Olivia’s feelings for “Cesario” and admits to her own interest in the Duke. Readers learn about the love triangle Viola finds herself in and admires her will that keeps her from breaking under the pressure. She recognizes her vulnerable position and lets time untangle the mess she is thrown in. Moreover, the maintenance of the disguise of “Cesario” is difficult to uphold, making it all the more impressive. In Act III, Scene 1, Olivia is forthright about her love for “Cesario” and Viola finds herself in a complicated situation. Viola’s act leaves readers applauding her intelligence as she responds to Olivia’s statement of Cesario being no servant of hers, saying “And he is yours, and his must needs be yours: Your servant 's servant is your servant, madam” ( 3.1.97-98). With this, Viola establishes her place, and clearly expresses her feelings and what she stands for in one clever sentence. The firmness Viola uses to reject Olivia shows courage. Especially since Olivia is very insistent and keeps pressing the topic. She does not let her lust for the Duke to take over and make foolish decisions. Even when the temptation to reveal herself and potentially win the Duke’s love may be great, she instead reinforces her position and gains trust of Duke Orsino, ensuring her
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