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How much knowledge do the characters in Twelfth Night, show about what they are? How they think? What they do?

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How much knowledge do the characters in Twelfth Night, show about what they are? How they think? What they do? The title "What you Will" is a perfect summary of the whole play. This story is about deception in character, being something you are not; whether it being disguising gender, true feelings or beliefs. We never no the real to why Viola chose to disguise her gender. We must assume that she wants to conceal her identity until she has gathered enough information about where she is and maybe feels safer dressed as a boy. He is resourceful and does not take pity on herself, despite the fact she thinks she has lost her brother she quickly moves on and tries to make do with the situation. Her brother describes her as "beautiful with a mind that envy could not call for." Sebastian is expressing that she is beautiful yet clever and level-headed. Her eloquence and integrity in which she conducts herself catches Olivia's attention, resulting into some seriously difficult situations. Viola is also selfless, accepting fate and the limitations it places upon her. She knew she had fallen in love with Duke Orsino and had the perfect opportunity to come clean and express how she felt when he asked her about what she thought women should be like. She did not lie to him nor did she tell him the truth her ability to manipulate language saved her from revealing her true identity. ...read more.


This is Feste's ambiguous implication that Olivia is mourning too deeply. The joke he made was approved by Olivia and it was also an insight to how aware Feste is to the moods around him. He knew his limitations, how far the joke could be taken. Olivia tolerated cheeky Feste. She is clearly not mean spirited- as her Steward, Malvolio. Malvolio despises Feste, jeering that he "has no more brain than a stone;" and "decays the wise, doth ever make the better fool." We know this is far from the truth. Feste is very wise and is much more intellectually superior to Malvolio. He also claims that Feste needs an indulgent audience to be able to perform. Malvolio's pettiness however, is reproved and Olivia turns against him, "O you are sick of self love, Malvolio" and hints he should be "generous, guiltless and free of decomposition" like Feste. In effect she is telling Malvolio he needs to 'lighten up'. Olivia shows many more examples of respect and tolerance for her servants. As mentioned before Feste knows he can get away with his absence, and it never occurs to Maria, Olivia's gentlewoman, that Olivia could be angry with her for forging her handwriting in the letter left for Malvolio. This shows that she actually quite weak as her servants take advantage of their high regards with Olivia. Olivia's fairness is revealed when she tries to find out who has "notoriously abused" Malvolio, and later accepting Fabian's explanation that, he deserves it. ...read more.


This not a nice characteristic presented by the knight. He is also harsh when for the first time he tells Sir Andrew what he really thinks of him, calling him an "ass-head and coxcomb." This displays his two faced nature to the audience and the rest of the characters in the play. His general attitude is summed up in the comment: "I am sure care's an enemy of life." He means he has no care in life, it is like an enemy. He is a laid back man likes to enjoy a good laugh whether it results I n someone else being humiliated or miserable. Sir Andrew is Sir Toby's side kick. He pays for his and Sir Toby revels, not realising he is being used. He is gullible enough to be coaxed into thinking he has a chance with Olivia. Although he is a knight- he is not respected even though he has a brave heroic title. It seems like a joke that someone like him can be named a knight. This could be a parody of true stereotypical knights. Compared to other characters he is very low in the character spectrum although his title is quite high. At the end of the play even his "friend", Sir Toby deceives him. He is a laughing stock- stealing some of the lime light from Malvolio. Many jokes in the play arise from his inadequate grasp on words. When he was introduced to Maria, Sir Andrew is subjected into making a fool out of himself from the misunderstanding of the word "accost." I conclude that there are few strong characters who understand themselves and know what they want; not being cloudy in their judgement. ...read more.

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