Portrayal of Women in Twelfth Night Essay

877 WordsDec 22, 20054 Pages
The Portrayal of Women in Twelfth Night The women in Shakespear's play: Twelfth Night, are all depicted as having power, comedic and being very emotional. All of the female characters are given power, whether it be over each other, men or their servants. The woman with the power over the greatest number of people is Olivia, she has numerous servants and doesn't hesitate to give them orders, which can be seen in (1.5.287) when she orders Malvolio to "run after 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 a very different way. Maria is Olivia's servant and must obey Olivia, but since she has been around Olivia…show more content…
Sir Toby finally has to point out that "‘accost' is front her, board her, woo her, assail her" all in all this makes a very confusing scene. The other two women (Viola and Olivia) are used to add comedy through mistaken identities, since Olivia believes Viola to be a man 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 great deal of comedic scenes there are also those with great sentiment in them. Shakespear portrays the women as fragile, with the way they act, and the way others act towards them, Viola is seen as a very emotional woman, who is in mourning for the death of her brother in (1.2.4) "My brother he is in Elysium", but at the same time falls in love with duke Orsino as shown in (5.1.130-131) when she says: "After him I love/More than I love these eyes, more than my life,". While Viola is in love with Orsino, Olivia falls in love with Viola who, while masquerading as a man is charged with delivering massages of love to Olivia. Olivia's love becomes obvious 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 quickly
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