Honors Comp. and Reading
Visible Charisms in “Twelfth Night”
Love triangles are never easy to navigate or resolve, especially when they involve people who are not what they seem. “Twelfth Night,” by William Shakespeare, centers primarily on the love triangle between Viola, Orsino, and Olivia. Viola pretends to be a man, Cesario, after being shipwrecked and falls in love with Orsino. Orsino, on the other hand, is a duke in love with Olivia, a wealthy countess, who favors Cesario. Meanwhile, Viola’s brother, who was presumed dead, returns with the help of Antonio, just as troublesome entertainment breaks out in Olivia’s court. In the end the love triangle settles itself and a happy ending takes place, but only through the love, determination, courage, and faith of the characters did all end well. The four charisms of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton are demonstrated through the characters in the play.
Love, the most prominent charism seen in “Twelfth Night,” is most firmly exhibited by Viola and Antonio. While disguised as a man, Viola falls deeply in love with Orsino, but she cannot gain his affection because of her false identity. During a conversation between Cesario and Orsino, Cesario tells the story of his sister, who is really Viola, confessing her love for a man who did not love her back. “She pined in thought,/ And with a green and yellow melancholy/ She sat like Patience on a monument,/ Smiling at grief. Was not this love indeed?” (II.iv.124-127). Viola is secretly telling Orsino that she is the one pining for Orsino’s love. Also, Viola demonstrates her love for Orsino by carrying his letters to Olivia, even though it pains her to see him show affection for another woman. Unlike other characters in the play who constantly switch their love interest, Viola always remains faithful to Orsino. Antonio also demonstrates love towards Sebastian, Viola’s brother. When Sebastian and Viola get separated during the shipwreck, Antonio saves Sebastian and comes to his aid, pledging to be a faithful and loving servant. When Sebastian explains that he is going to travel to Orsino’s court, Antonio reveals that he has many enemies there willing to persecute him, but because of his love for Sebastian he follows towards almost certain death. Antonio even gives...