William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night One of the first lines in the play Twelfth Night reveals the main Viola, disguised as Cesario, falls in love with Orsino. In Twelfth Night, it is love's revolutionary potential to inspire awareness, Viola's relationship with Orsino, and the realization of mutual love after her . connecting with Viola, even more so than the perceived gender issues. Characters · Analysis · Questions · Photos · Quizzes · Flashcards · Best of the Web · Write (We know we were surprised by this the first time we read Twelfth Night.) It's easy to dismiss the question by saying that Viola's love for Orsino is totally There's no denying the intimacy of the relationship between Antonio and .
What is the purpose of Sir Andrew's visit? Why is he thinking about leaving? What do you learn about Sir Andrew's character? How much time has passed since scene one?
Twelfth Night - Wikipedia
Describe the relationship between Orsino and Cesario. How persistently is Orsino courting Olivia? How will Cesario be rewarded if "he" wins Olivia for the Duke? How does Cesario feel about courting Olivia for the Duke? Why is Olivia angry with Feste, the clown? How does Feste regain favour with Olivia? What kind of person does he seem to be? I, v — continued 4.
How difficult is it for Cesario Viola to get to see Olivia? What impression does Cesario Viola make on Olivia? Why did Olivia send a messenger to Cesario Viola with the ring? How will this development complicate the plot? Act II, scene i 1. How did he get there?
TWELFTH NIGHT Study Questions
What is his relationship with Viola? Where is Sebastian going? How will this complicate the plot? Why did Malvolio go after Cesario? What does the ring signify to Cesario? What complications will this add to the plot? What was Malvolio sent to tell Sir Toby? What are Maria's feelings for Sir Toby?
Explain the trick Maria and Sir Toby are planning to play on Malvolio. Why do they want to do this? What is Orsino's mood at the opening of the scene? Explain why the lines are an example of dramatic irony. What "orders" does the Duke give to Cesario Viola? How does Viola indirectly tell Orsino of her love? Why are Maria, Toby, Andrew, and Fabian hiding? The play was not published until its inclusion in the First Folio in Gender[ edit ] Viola is not alone among Shakespeare's cross-dressing heroines; in Shakespeare's theatre, convention dictated that adolescent boys play the roles of female characters, creating humour in the multiplicity of disguise found in a female character who for a while pretended at masculinity.
She does not, however, use her disguise to enable her to intervene directly in the plot unlike other Shakespearean heroines such as Rosalind in As You Like It and Portia in The Merchant of Veniceremaining someone who allows "Time" to untangle the plot. As the very nature of Twelfth Night explores gender identity and sexual attraction, having a male actor play Viola enhanced the impression of androgyny and sexual ambiguity.
V she asks her "Are you a comedian? He finishes by likening himself to "the old Vice" of English Morality plays. The only record of the performance is an entry in the diary of the lawyer John Manninghamwho wrote: A good practice in it to make the steward believe his lady-widow was in love with him, by counterfeiting a letter as from his lady, in general terms telling him what she liked best in him and prescribing his gesture in smiling, his apparel, etc.
Act V, Scene i William Hamiltonc. The play was also one of the earliest Shakespearean works acted at the start of the Restoration ; Sir William Davenant 's adaptation was staged inwith Thomas Betterton in the role of Sir Toby Belch. Samuel Pepys thought it "a silly play", but saw it three times anyway during the period of his diary on 11 September6 Januaryand 20 January In an operatic version by Frederic Reynolds was staged, with music composed by Henry Bishop.
The Old Vic Theatre was reopened in after suffering severe damage in the London Blitz in with a memorable production starring Peggy Ashcroft as Viola.
It ran for performances, more than twice as long as any other Broadway production. A memorable production directed by Liviu Ciulei at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, October—Novemberwas set in the context of an archetypal circus world, emphasising its convivial, carnival tone.
TWELFTH NIGHT Study Questions
The company of Shakespeare's GlobeLondon, has produced many notable, highly popular all-male performances, and a highlight of their season was Twelfth Night, with the Globe's artistic director Mark Rylance playing the part of Olivia.
The same production was revived in —13 and transferred to sell-out runs in the West End and Broadway.
Stephen Fry played Malvolio. It ran in repertory with Richard III. Not only does Viola exhibit the kind of conscious understanding of her own feelings and situation that is persistently lacking in Olivia and Orsino, but she is able to rationally accept her inability to change either her feelings or her situation and the pain that this inability may cause her. Say that some lady, as perhaps there is. Hath for your love a great pang of heart As you have for Olivia: She seeks to prevent him from being hurt in the only context she understands — that of her own apparently bleak situation.
Although love is undeniably a powerful force of change in Twelfth Night, it is not the concealed grief of Viola which is active in crossing the barriers of gender, closed mindsets and convention in her relationship with Orsino. Only in this situation of confusion can a love such as that which Orsino and Viola develop be realized. The scene in Act II is therefore crucial, not just to establish the closeness which has developed between the two characters, but also to establish this sense of disorder — the necessary first stage.
One of the most significant emblems of anarchy is that of the objectivity of truth which Viola embodies in her disguise. Through this falsity, she is able to show her true feelings, as if her love itself were a blend of truth and imagination, like the loves of Orsino and Olivia.
Only in this environment of confused gender, identity and genre can this love be conveyed.