Sunday, July 17, 2011

Twelfth Night

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THE CHANGING ROLE IN VIOLA/CESARIO IN THE TWELFTH NIGHT


In Shakespeares Twelfth Night, it is clearly evident that the


fluctuation in attitude to the dual role and situation and tribulations


imposed upon the character of Viola/Cesario ends up in a better


Custom writing service can write essays on Twelfth Night


understanding of both sexes, and thus, allows Viola to have a better


understanding for Orsino. Near the opening of the play, when Viola is


adopting her male identity, she creates another self, like two masks and


may decide to wear one or the other while swinging between the two


identities in emotion and in character. She decides to take on this


identity because she has more freedom in society in her Cesario mask, which


is evident when she is readily accepted by Orsino, whereas, in her female


identity she would not be. Thus, a customary role in society and to the


outlooks of others is portrayed.


Orsino sees Cesario, as a young squire just starting out in the world,


much like himself as a young, spry lad, so he has a tendency to be more


willing to unload onto her with his troubles and sorrows, seeking a


companion with which to share and to teach. Thus, Viola grows in her male


disguise to get a better feeling for his inner self, not the self that he


shows to the public, or would reveal and share with Viola in her true


female self, but rather his secret self, as he believes he shares with a


peer. So, she grows to love him. But, Orsinos motivation is actually not


love for Viola, but rather he seems to be in love with love itself. His


entire world is filled with love but he knows that there might be a turning


point for him, like when he says





If music be the food of love, play on; give me


excess of it, that, surfeiting, the appetite may


sicken, and so die. 1. (I,I,I-III)





This quote shows that he knows that he is so caught up in love, that he


hopes his appetite for love may simmer when he takes more than he can


handle.


1. Shakespeare, William. Twelfth Night. Longmans Canada Limited, Don


Mills, Ontario, 161. All subsequent quotes are from this edition.


Near the end of the play, when all tricks and treacheries are revealed


and all masks are lifted, Orsino falls in love with Viola. He first


forgives her/him of her/his duty to him, the master; then says that she


shall now be her masters mistress





Your master quits you; and for your service


done him, so much against the mettle of your


sex, so far beneath your soft and tender


breeding, and since you calld me master for


so long, here is my hand. You shall from


this time be your masters mistress. (V,I,-7)


This is sort of a switching love as he thought he was in love with Olivia


in the beginning, but, he readily switches his love to Viola, as he feels


he knows her personality well.


As for Viola, she declares her love for Orsino many times, as if by


saying that she would love him if she were a lady. When Orsino first sends


Cesario to act as a messenger and send Orsinos love to Olivia, Cesario


proclaims


Ill do my best to woo your lady; [aside]


yet, a barful strife! Whoeer I woo,


myself would be his wife. (I,IV, 40-4)


This shows that Viola knows what a difficult situation that she is in, and


that she might try to woo her out of loving Orsino, so that she might have


him for herself; except there is a slight, unexpected twist of fate...





After Cesario leaves from Olivias, she declares


What is your parentage? Above my fortunes,


yet my state is well; I am a gentleman. Ill


be sworn thou art. Thy tongue, thy face, thy


limbs, and spirit, do give thee five-fold blazon.


Not too fast soft, soft! Unless the master were


the man. How now! Even so quickly may one catch


the plague? Methinks I feel this youths per-


fections with an invisible and subtle stealth to


creep in at mine eyes. Well, let it be. What


ho, Malvolio! (I,V, 8-8)


Olivia, is thinking back to her question to Cesario, and his response to


it. Then she replies to Cesarios response, to herself, thinking about


him. She agrees with his response, then goes over his many delightful


features, and wonders how she so quickly has caught the plague of love for


young Cesario. She decides that it is her feeling towards his youthful


perfections that creep into her heart and to her eyes. Then she agrees


with her decision, and sends for Malvolio, in hope that he may recall


Cesario, so that she may talk with him again. Olivia feels a strong


passionate love for Cesario, even though it was love at first sight for


her. Cesario presented (himself) very magnificently and left a lasting


impression in Olivias mind.


The next time that Cesario came by, Olivia declared


Cesario, by the roses of the spring, by maid-


hood, honour, truth and everything, I love


thee so, that, maugre all thy pride, nor wit


nor reason can my passion hide. (III,I,145-148)


This verifies that Olivia is profoundly in love with Cesario, despite all


his pride. But, Cesario does not possess the same sentiments for Olivia as


he says


By innocence I swear, and by my youth, I have


one heart, one bosom and one truth, And that


no woman has; nor never none shall mistress


be of it, save I alone. And so adieu, good


madam. (III,I,15-157)


Here, Viola tells Olivia that she could never love her, nor any other woman


because she only has one love (to Orsino) and is loyal. But, Olivia is


still in love, and requests that Cesario return.


Overall, Viola learns that in the role of Cesario she had to be quick


on her feet, and defend the probing questions and statements as to her love


and others love for her. As well she acquired the skill to bide her time,


until the time was right, lest she reveal her true self or intentions.





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