The Outcome of Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
The ‘Twelfth Night’ written by William Shakespeare in the Elizabethan
era, is a dramatic comedy enriched with a great deal of hurt to
accompany scandalous behaviour and shocking deceptions.
The comical elements of this play are those which contribute to
Elizabethan humour. The principal characters are of a high social
status, making any disruption to their life humorous. The main
characters are part of the whirlwind of unrequited love and mistaken
identity, which when together are hazardous.
Viola pays the largest contribution to this play, as she is persistent
throughout the scenes. The deceptions and mistaken identity she
contributes supplements the play by means of interest, with a string
of unrequited love triangles and dramatic irony, of which only the
audience observes. The dramatic irony among Viola makes the audience
omniscient, as they know something that the characters do not, such as
she is a woman dressing herself to be a man, this allowing humour to
pass through. Her character is mysterious, as she has no background
due to loss of her brother at sea and the death of her father, which
made her an orphan at a young age (taken from the film by Trevor
Nunn). This holds interest through anticipation to the audience of any
time (modern or Shakespearean), making them curious about whom she is.
Viola unintentionally manipulates everyone during the play, as she
deceives each person through her disguise as Cesario. As Cesario, she
misleads Olivia, as the charm and charisma she portrays overwhelms
her. Viola realises this love for her as she says to herself;
“She loves me sure; the cunning of her passion. . .
Poor lady, she better love a dream”
(Act 2 Scene 3)
Viola shows concern for Olivia as she describes Olivia to be “a poor
lady” and she is fretful about Orsino as she articulates, “My master
loves her dearly”. Her concerns and worries mean that Viola is
considerate to others and selfless in ways that she does not want to
hurt anyone. In the play, this is shown in her feminine physique,
though she portrays a stronger, more man like, character as Cesario.
Olivia, the Lady of the house, has a large involvement during this
play, as she is centre of the unrequited love triangle, and not to her
own familiarity, is a part of the gag that she is in love with
Malvolio. Though Olivia’s contribution is mainly comical, the audience
do witness a poignant personality in her. Our first encounter with
Olivia shows her to be despondent and depressed, at the loss of her
brother. There is an instant connection between Olivia and Viola, in
addition to the similarity of their names, they are also both grieving
a brother. The sadness that death is relative to the play at the
beginning misleads the audience to believe...