One of six children of a shipping agent father who relocated from England to Larne in the late s, he became entranced from an early age with the music and song of his adopted home.
Washed up on the shore of Illyria when her ship is wrecked in a storm, Viola decides to make her own way in the world. She disguises herself as a young man, calling herself "Cesario," and becomes a page to Duke Orsino. She ends up falling in love with Orsino—even as Olivia, the woman Orsino is courting, falls in love with Cesario.
Thus, Viola finds that her clever disguise has entrapped her: Her poignant plight is the central conflict in the play. Read an in-depth analysis of Viola. Orsino is lovesick for the beautiful Lady Olivia, but becomes more and more fond of his handsome new page boy, Cesario, who is actually a woman—Viola.
Orsino is a vehicle through which the play explores the absurdity of love: His attraction to the ostensibly male Cesario injects sexual ambiguity into his character.
Read an in-depth analysis of Orsino. She and Orsino are similar characters in that each seems to enjoy wallowing in his or her own misery. Olivia seems to have no difficulty transferring her affections from one love interest to the next, however, suggesting that her romantic feelings—like most emotions in the play—do not run deep.
Read an in-depth analysis of Olivia. When he arrives in Illyria, traveling with Antonio, his close friend and protector, Sebastian discovers that many people think that they know him. Furthermore, the beautiful Lady Olivia, whom he has never met, wants to marry him.
Sebastian is not as well rounded a character as his sister. He seems to exist to take on the role that Viola fills while disguised as Cesario—namely, the mate for Olivia. Malvolio is very efficient but also very self-righteous, and he has a poor opinion of drinking, singing, and fun.
His priggishness and haughty attitude earn him the enmity of Sir Toby, Sir Andrew, and Maria, who play a cruel trick on him, making him believe that Olivia is in love with him. In his fantasies about marrying his mistress, he reveals a powerful ambition to rise above his social class. Read an in-depth analysis of Malvolio.
He earns his living by making pointed jokes, singing old songs, being generally witty, and offering good advice cloaked under a layer of foolishness.
In spite of being a professional fool, Feste often seems the wisest character in the play. Olivia lets Sir Toby Belch live with her, but she does not approve of his rowdy behavior, practical jokes, heavy drinking, late-night carousing, or friends specifically the idiotic Sir Andrew.
Sir Toby also earns the ire of Malvolio. Together they bring about the triumph of chaotic spirit, which Sir Toby embodies, and the ruin of the controlling, self-righteous Malvolio. Maria is remarkably similar to her antagonist, Malvolio, who harbors aspirations of rising in the world through marriage.
But Maria succeeds where Malvolio fails—perhaps because she is a woman, but, more likely, because she is more in tune than Malvolio with the anarchic, topsy-turvy spirit that animates the play. He thinks that he is witty, brave, young, and good at languages and dancing, but he is actually an idiot.
Antonio has become very fond of Sebastian, caring for him, accompanying him to Illyria, and furnishing him with money—all because of a love so strong that it seems to be romantic in nature. Despite the ambiguous and shifting gender roles in the play, Twelfth Night remains a romantic comedy in which the characters are destined for marriage.
In such a world, homoerotic attraction cannot be fulfilled.Twelfth Night also shows how gender-switches make the characters' sexual identities unstable.
For instance, at times, Olivia seems to be attracted to Cesario because "he" is such a womanly-looking man, while Orsino at the end of the play seems as attracted to Cesario as he is to Viola.
Sir Alec Guinness, Sir Ralph Richardson and Joan Plowright star in this merry on-stage mix-up of identity, gender and love in Tony Award-winner John Dexter s production of William Shakespeare s Twelfth regardbouddhiste.comally broadcast on Britain s ITV, this classic performance captures all the slapstick, puns and double entendres that have amazed and amused audiences for over four hundred years.
The Clown Doll: An Urban Legend - The Clown Doll: An Urban Legend When my friends and I were younger, we loved to tell each other scary stories late at night at sleepovers. Read our overview which shows how teachers can consider Twelfth Night in relation to the genre of Comedy. We haven't covered every element of this genre.
Instead we hope this guide will provide a springboard to help you plan, and to get you and your students thinking about the text in more detail. Character Analysis Viola Bookmark this page Manage My Reading List Surrounded by characters who express the extremes of emotionalism and melancholy — that is, Viola is caught between Duke Orsino's extreme melancholy and Lady Olivia's aggressive emotionalism — yet she represents the norm of behavior in this strange world of Illyria.
''Twelfth Night'' is one of Shakespeare's most popular and important comedies and has inspired adaptations and reimaginings for centuries. And its focus on complicated issues of gender, class, and.