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Gender Roles Portrayed in Twelfth Night By William Shakespeare


Gender Functions Depicted in Twelfth Night By William Shakespeare

!.?. !? Devin McGowan 06/05/13 Formality English: Research Paper- Twelfth Night Period 8/9 Apples and Oranges A Contrast of Olivia and Viola in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night When comparing two significantly various individuals, scenarios, or objects, they often refer to the old stating “It’s like comparing apples and oranges”. In referral to Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, lots of would state the very same thing of the characters Viola and Olivia. But, is that observation completely real?

While both ladies possess qualities that entirely establish them into their own people, there are some striking similarities in situation along with mindset that help one discover many similarities between the two. Both are products of their own environments, and the manner ins which they deal with similar challenges are the really things that set them apart. The Countess Olivia is introduced in deep grieving for her dead brother. Viola is presented as the survivor of a ship-wreck that separates her from her twin brother, whom she presumes to be dead.

Do you see what I see? What I see is a comparable scenario shared in between the 2. Both ladies have actually lost their siblings, but deal with this heartbreak in contrasting ways. Olivia for one, is content with locking herself up and grieving to the point of ridiculousness, as pointed out by Feste and observed by readers (Shmoop). A black veil and consistent crying … is she severe? On the other hand, Viola deals with her loss (though it is later on shown no loss ever truly occurred) in an extremely mature way; by moving forward and not wallowing.

She has enough to handle when this memorable heartbreak occurs (starting a brand-new life, enduring, and so on) so she focuses on and quickly completes her process of mourning. Obviously, both women cared deeply for their respective bros, but handled their sorrow on different ends of the psychological spectrum. The Elizabethan period Twelfth Night was embeded in, the society was incredibly patriarchal. This implies that males were expected to strong bread-winning daddies and females were weak, chaste, and peaceful moms who do as they are informed and never ever roaming.

It is to these standards that neither lady(or female being a man) adhere. Olivia breaks this mold by proposing to “Cessario” and usually having a hold of herself without needing a guy. Also, her turning down Duke Orsino and satirizing his cliche tries at courtship make the fractures that much more pronounced. Viola breaks this mold when she gowns as “Cessario” and becomes the man that women are all compared to. Furthmore, Cessario breaks this mold by being womanly (duh, he is actually a woman) and having a blazon and emotional way when talking with Olivia and Orsino.

Both ladies represent a more modern approach of gender roles in this play. Many of the characters in Twelfth Night view Olivia and Viola(if they understood her) as opposites, so it is a marvel that Orsino is brought in to both ladies … or is it? In this essay, we have gone over simply a few resemblances between the two females, and these clearly add to the tourist attraction Orsino feels. Straying from his Elizabethan gender function, he longs for a more outspoken female( or female dressed as a man … as I the just one that was a bit weirded out by the ending?) and these two definitely fill that slot. He feels simple infatuation for the females and it is quite obvious through the cliche grabs at Olivia’s heart and his hesitation to admit that he does have sensations for Viola/Cessario. If this play were embeded in modern-day times, you can wager that neither female would wish to handle him as they are too immersed in forward believed. Both females, alike in dignity, show that they are their own individuals while keeping similar attributes.

Like two sides of a coin, they represent various views on comparable circumstances; offering readers a better view of the provided circumstances. The regal Olivia and the smart Viola are a pair of girls for the ages, 2 contemporary women reduced by their time. Like an apple and an orange, both are still part of the same classification. They are still fruit(or ladies in case you didn’t follow the tried metaphor). Citations “Apples and Oranges. ” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 21 May 2013. Web. 05 June 2013. Shmoop Editorial Group. Twelfth Night, or What You Will Characters. ” Shmoop. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 05 June 2013. Thomas, Heather. “Elizabethan Women. ” Elizabethan Women. N. p., 2011. Web. 05 June 2013. Truman, Charlotte. “Viola and Olivia as Parallel Characters in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. ” Yahoo! Contributor Network. N. p., n. d. Web. 05 June 2013. “Twelfth Night Characters. ” Study Guides & & Essay Modifying. GradeSaver LLC., n. d. Web. 05 June 2013. “Twelfth Night. ” SparkNotes. SparkNotes LLC., n. d. Web. 05 June 2013.

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