• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss the Effects that Arise in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night From Viola’s Disguising Herself as Cesario

Extracts from this document...


Discuss the Effects that Arise in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night From Viola's Disguising Herself as Cesario A large amount of the plot of Twelfth Night results from Viola's disguise and it has great number of unforeseen consequences. The first and possibly the most crucial of these is Olivia's sudden attraction to Viola when she disguises herself as Cesario. This begins when Olivia sees Viola for the first time. As she comes to declare the Duke's love for Olivia in Act 1 Scene 5. At the start of the scene Viola does not realise that she is speaking to Olivia, instead thinking she is addressing a servant. However, it is because of this that Viola says the first thing that may have attracted Olivia to her. She calls Olivia, '...most radiant, exquisite and unmatched beauty.' This is not part of a prepared speech and seemingly directed to a mere servant. It may be this phrase that first softens Olivia's heart towards the boyish Cesario. ...read more.


Yet after a while what feelings love Olivia had for Viola/Cesario turn into lust. This produces an even more comic situation on stage but also creates a feeling of anguish as Olivia throws herself at Viola. The best example of this is in Act 3 Scene 1. Olivia is pleading with Cesario to return her affections. She uses lines such as, 'by maidhood, honour, truth, and everything I love thee so that, maugre all thy pride...' In these lines that appear to about love Shakespeare has added a number of subtle references to the plays plot and morals. The words 'honour' and 'truth' are very out of place, as Viola has done nothing but lie and bend the truth in disguising herself. In addition if Olivia knew that Viola was actually a girl she would feel no pride at all. Finally, Shakespeare may also be questioning Olivia's morals in falling desperately in love with someone she hardly knows. ...read more.


It is of course completely ludicrous that he would agree to marry someone he has never set eyes on before yet he appears completely overwhelmed. 'This is the air, that is the glorious sun.' The first line of his speech sums up his supposed feelings for Olivia. She is of course deliriously happy saying, 'Then lead the way...and heavens so shine.' Sebastian appears to be only vaguely aware of what is taking place and even goes so far as to question his sanity. 'To any other trust but that I am mad.' This scene is very typical of Olivia's switching affections from Viola to Sebastian with seemingly no founding for the love. The fact that Sebastian has never met her before adds to the ridiculousness of the scene. Shakespeare relies heavily on the audience's suspension of disbelief in order to create a marriage of questionable morals. In my opinion his main reason for doing this is to produce a happy to the play, several marriages. Overall, Viola's disguise is used for a vast number of comic devices and is probably the singularly important device in the plot. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Twelfth Night section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Twelfth Night essays

  1. Examine the Levels of Deception in Twelfth Night Twelfth Night is a play ...

    The next two lines are also accurate, although she speaks of them as possibilities while we know them to be actualities. It is unnecessary for Viola to endanger herself in this way and so it would seem that at least a part of her actually wants Orsino to know the truth.

  2. Examine the ways in which Shakespeare creates comedy for the audience in Act 3 ...

    head into that of an ass, in a scene that is similar to that of Twelfth Night's Act 3 Scene 4.. This means that both Malvolio and Bottom have their appearance changed, and therefore create humour through a visual device, due to trickery; and both Malvolio and Bottom are oblivious

  1. A close, critical analysis of Shakespeare's 'Twelfth Night' with regard to relating a particular ...

    Incidentally, this important line is clearly stressed and broken up with particular emphasis on 'folly-fall'n' to make the words, and their range of meanings, particularly noticeable. This is achieved with the consonance of the letter 'f' causing the phrase to stand out.

  2. The most perceptive characters in Twelfth Night are the best at fooling others. How ...

    Was not this love indeed? ' Today, an audience listening to this comment would probably only recognise it as a charming simile, but to Shakespeare's contemporaries, this idea of a love that wasn't merely impractical, but completely out of the question, would resonate much more strongly.

  1. To what extent does Shakespeare provide his audience with a satisfying ending to twelfth ...

    love, 'If music be the food of love, play on' (A1S1L1), and has courtly love for Olivia. He sends Cessario to court her for him, but this increases the problem, when Olivia 'falls in love' with Cessario. Olivia seems colder than ever towards the end of the play, and rejects Orsino further.

  2. how Shakespeare uses disguise to suit his comic purpose

    So this is his agenda throughout the play as well as being a part of the main plots. The main characters in the play play a very important part in the comedy of the play. One of the main characters is Orsino; he is the Duke of Illyria.

  1. Twelfth Night Act1 Scene 1 analysis

    In this scene the audience don't really know much about Sebastian apart from he is Viola's twin and that he is feared to be dead. To the audience, Viola seems an indecisive type of person who doesn't know what to do without her brother. She seems very emotional and depressed.

  2. Analysis of Comedy in Act 3 Scene 4 of Twelfth Night

    For instance, when Olivia believes Malvolio to be mad, she suggests that he 'go to bed.' However, he misinterprets this remark and believes her to be offering for him to go to bed with her. 'To bed? Ay, Sweetheart, and I'll come to thee.'

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work