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In Shakespeare's time women were generally thought of as inferior to men. In "Twelfth night" does the playwright suggest that he may not accept this idea and how does he show the audience this?

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Twelfth Night In Shakespeare's time women were generally thought of as inferior to men. In "Twelfth night" does the playwright suggest that he may not accept this idea and how does he show the audience this? When Shakespeare wrote the play Twelfth Night in about 1602, women were generally thought of inferior to men meaning they were lower class. Shakespeare does no accept this idea. He shows this when he was asked by Queen Elizabeth 1 to write a play with love and comedy, the two main characters are very strong women and the male characters are very weak. Olivia is rich, noble and very emotional and very strong in character. In act 1 scene 2 we learn that Olivia's brother and father have recently passed away, Olivia has a very strong love for her brother because of this she made some extreme vows: she will not show her face at ample view, "but like a cloistress she will veiled walk". ...read more.


Olivia lets her true feelings show, she does not hide them away. As the vows that Olivia made were very extreme and almost impossible to keep, she decided to break some of them showing her strength and realisation of this impossible task. She had now fallen in love and although she had vowed never to show her face in public, whilst mourning for seven years, love had forced her to change her mind showing her love for Cesario/ Viola was stronger than her love for her brother. Viola is a very noble, intelligent lady who was very witty and clever in speeches which isn't what women were normally like showing that Viola is a strong women compared to other women, who has been shipwrecked alone and has lost all of her belongings; this takes a very strong character to be able to cope with this situation. Viola believes her brother Sebastian is dead "my brother is in Elysium. ...read more.


The play also tells us that Orsino only thinks about how he loves Olivia he doesn't even think about whether Olivia loves him he just expects her to love him. Sebastian, Viola's brother is also a very weak male character, when he marries Olivia he lets her take control of him he does what she tells him to do which shows how weak he is because he doesn't control her or his own life. Overall Viola is the stronger woman as when Olivia's brother dies Olivia makes extreme vows where as when Viola thinks her brother is dead she does not make extreme vows or mourn, she gets on with her life, which shows that she is the stronger woman. The fact that Duke Orsino and Sebastian are such a weak male characters, they make the women look as though they are even stronger than they already are. ?? ?? ?? ?? Jennifer Spooner 10C 1 ...read more.

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