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Portrayal of Women in Twelfth Night


Representation of Women in Twelfth Night

The Portrayal of Women in Twelfth Night The women in Shakespear’s play: Twelfth Night, are all portrayed as having power, comedic and being really emotional. All of the female characters are given power, whether it be over each other, men or their servants. The lady with the power over the greatest variety of people is Olivia, she has numerous servants and doesn’t be reluctant to provide orders, which can be seen in (1. 5. 287) when she purchases Malvolio to “follow that peevish messenger” and in (3. 1. 92-94) when she says: “let the garden door be shut and leave me to my hearing”.

The second female character with power obtains it in an extremely various method. Maria is Olivia’s servant and need to comply with Olivia, but since she has been around Olivia so much she can simulate her handwriting. In (2. 3. 150-152) Maria exclaims: “I can compose extremely like my Lady your niece; on a forgotten matter we can barely make difference of our hands” later she explains her plans and Sir Toby reveals in (2. 3. 155-157): “He will believe, by the letters you drop, that they come from ne niece, and that she’s in love with him. “.

The third lady in Twelfth Night with power is Viola, she acquires power after masquerading as Cesario and getting the trust of Duke Orsino. Her power is plainly demonstrated in (5. 1. 62) when Viola utilizes her impact over Orsino to conserve Antonio’s life by saying:” [Antonio] did me generosity, sir, drew on my side;” Since of this declaration Antonio is spared. Shakespear’s providing of power to ladies is seen as a mockery based on the beliefs of his time, since females were never implied to battle or act as guards and messengers, simply put he utilizes the women’s power to make them look unbelievable.

The ladies in Twelfth Night are used to add comic relief by having some of the comedy triggered by them and some directed at them. Maria is one such character. Shakespear uses her and the character Sir Andrew to make many plays on words, for example in (1. 3. 49-54) Sir Andrew errors the significance of the word accost and ends up believing that Maria’s name is accost which results in him stating: “Good girlfriend Accost, I prefer much better acquaintance” Maria then replies “My name is Mary Sir.” and

Sir Andrew then thinks her name to be “Good mistress Mary Accost”. Sir Toby lastly needs to explain that “? accost’ is front her, board her, charm her, assault her” all in all this makes a very confusing scene. The other 2 women (Viola and Olivia) are used to add funny through mistaken identities, considering that Olivia thinks Viola to be a guy and falls in love with her. In (2. 2. 20-21) Viola discovers that Olivia is in love with her and exclaims: “For she did speak in starts distractedly. She loves me, sure; the cunning of her passion”.

While there are a lot of comical scenes there are likewise those with great sentiment in them. Shakespear represents the females as vulnerable, with the way they act, and the method others act towards them, Viola is seen as an extremely psychological lady, who remains in grieving for the death of her sibling in (1. 2. 4) “My bro he is in Elysium”, but at the very same time falls for duke Orsino as displayed in (5. 1. 130-131) when she says: “After him I love/More than I enjoy these eyes, more than my life,”.

While Viola loves Orsino, Olivia falls in love with Viola who, while masquerading as a guy is charged with delivering massages of love to Olivia. Olivia’s love becomes apparent when in (2. 2. 21) Olivia, desperate to spend more time with Cesario/Viola sends Malvolio to return a ring to Cesario/Viola which had never been his/hers to begin with. Viola rapidly understands:” [Olivia] likes me, sure;”. While these two women have experiences with love Maria is seen as more of a humorous character.

She uses her handwriting, which is nearly that of Olivia’s, to write a false letter of love to Malvolio who follows the letter exactly and winds up using yellow, cross gartered stockings (both styles are loathed by Olivia). Maria’s plot is revealed when she talks to Sir Toby and Sir Andrew and states: “I will drop in his method some unknown epistles of love,”. The message contained in the letters is later exposed in (3. 2. 64-65) when Maria bursts into the room with Fabian, Sir Andrew and Sir Toby to declare: “He remains in yellow stockings”.

The women in Twelfth Night are rather psychological, seeking love and vengeance constantly, it is a quality that makes the play even more fascinating and at some times funny. Female characters in Twelfth Night are represented in a variety of different methods, while Maria is comical and prankster-like, Olivia is grief-stricken for all however the last scene of the play. Nevertheless, all the females have things in common for instance, their power over others and their large selection of emotions.

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