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

What impressions have you formed of Olivia? Show some of the ways in which she differs from either Viola or Maria.

Extracts from this document...


What impressions have you formed of Olivia? Show some of the ways in which she differs from either Viola or Maria. I have formed quite favourable impressions of Olivia. As the Captain says, she is "a virtuous maid, the daughter of a count". I believe she is of fairly sound judgement and quite shrewd. She is also a countess and of high status, which is the direct opposite of her loyal servant, Maria. Olivia does not actually appear in the play until quite late on, yet we learn a lot about her before then. Her brother and father have recently died, and out of respect for them, she vows that she will have no male visitors for seven years. At first, this seems almost commendable, but as the play goes on and she falls hopelessly in love with Cesario, we realise that it is immature, na�ve and somewhat unrealistic. She is probably in her early twenties, and Duke Orsino, along with many other people, believes her to be very beautiful, as we know when he says, "O when mine eyes did see Olivia first, methought she purged the air of pestilence." ...read more.


As far as Feste is concerned, this is quite a dangerous remark, but, instead of being angry, Olivia merely replies that she knows his soul is in heaven. When Feste retorts, "The more fool, madonna, to mourn for your brother's soul being in heaven," Olivia realises that he is right, and appreciates his wit and logic. When Malvolio wonders how Olivia "takes delight in such a barren rascal," she rebukes him, saying, "O, you are sick of self-love, Malvolio." She values her steward but sees him for what he is: superior, arrogant and puritanical. She is very shrewd and observant, good at working out other peoples' characters, which is quite ironic as she falls in love with Cesario, who is in fact a woman. However, she is kind to Malvolio when she believes him to be mad - "I would not have him miscarry for the half of my dowry," and at the end, when she finds that he has been "most notoriously abused," by Maria and Sir Toby. Whereas Olivia respects Malvolio, she does not respect Sir Toby, her kinsman. ...read more.


Olivia does not doubt her because Maria is a trusted servant. She feels pity for Malvolio when he is put into a dark cell, but Maria thinks that it is funny and says to Feste, "Make him believe thou art Sir Topas the curate," which makes the situation even worse for Malvolio. At the end of the play she manages to slip away before anyone notices, which I believe shows a lack of responsibility about her. She has her fun but disappears before she can be punished, without having felt any remorse. We hear that she has married Sir Toby and that brings up another big difference between herself and Olivia: Olivia would never consider marrying anyone as vulgar and rude as Sir Toby, but Maria likes him. Olivia ultimately marries Sebastian, who is the direct opposite to Sir Toby. Maria, I think, is a very loyal servant to Olivia and they enjoy each other's company, but they are very different, socially and characteristically. Maria is a servant and Olivia is a countess. Olivia is a romantic and her character reflects Orsino's in some ways, in that she can be very changeable. Maria, on the other hand, seems to be more vivacious and carefree. ...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. Realtionship between Viola and Olivia

    When Cesario or Viola, figures out that Olivia has fallen in love with 'him', she is distressed as well as rather sympathetic. 'Poor lady, she were better love a dream,' he sees the trouble this will cause: 'My master loves her dearly, And I, poor monster, fond as much on him; And she, mistaken, seems to dote on me.

  2. Analyse and show how Shakespeare shapes the audience's perception of Olivia's steward, Malvolio.

    set up by Sir Toby, Maria and the other light-hearted figures of the play. At the end of Act II, Scene III Sir Toby, Maria and Sir Andrew Aguecheek are discussing how they should deal with Malvolio. Maria comes up with the idea of slipping him a note signed by


    It is when he is giving the ring back to Viola. He believed that she had given it to Olivia. If Viola would not take the ring from him, then, if he left it on the floor, then she would be sure to take it.

  2. "He hath been most notoriously abused" How far do you agree with Olivia that ...

    On the other hand she is telling him he is too serious and needs to relax: "take those things for bird-bolts that you deem cannon-bullets". She then carries on to say to him "and taste with a distempered appetite" So even Olivia believes he is ruining all the fun.

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