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

Twelfth Night - How does Shakespeare present the characters of Olivia and Orsino? How do their characters change during the play and what influences do Sebastian and Viola have on them?

Extracts from this document...


Twelfth Night Essay How does Shakespeare present the characters of Olivia and Orsino? How do their characters change during the play and what influences do Sebastian and Viola have on them? Introduction The main characters that I will be focusing on are Olivia, Orsino, Viola and Sebastian. I will write about the way that Shakespeare presents Olivia and Orsino their changes during the play and why these changes occur. I will also include the affects Viola and Sebastian have on them. Orsino is the duke of Illyria, he would like to ask Olivia to marry him she is a rich lady with a waiting-gentlewoman Maria. She has recently lost her brother and is in mourning for him. ...read more.


The arrival of Cesario who Orsino seems to take a liking to takes his mind off Olivia but soon he is using Cesario to woo her for him. This affects the situation in a way that he clearly did not intend as Olivia regains her interest in men again but not in him but in Cesario! Orsino becomes desperately unhappy about his failure to win the affection of Olivia. In a conversation with Cesario he argues that men love more than women do. Cesario disagrees and almost gives away her true identity and love. She is sent to Olivia again. Olivia states her love for Cesario but is turned down, a love triangle forms Cesario (Viola) ...read more.


A more adult and true type of love has developed however between him and Viola even though he believed her to be male. A double wedding is arranged Orsino to Viola and Sebastian to Olivia. All this shows that Viola and Sebastian bring happiness to the at first sad and lonely Olivia and Orsino. Shakespeare portrays Orsino as a strong and wealthy character who is at the start of the play in love with Olivia. When he meets Viola he clearly finds her attractive but does not declare his love for her however because she is dressed as Cesario. Later though when he finds she is actually Viola he asks her to marry him. Olivia clearly likes Orsino and wants to marry her. She then finds Sebastian attractive when she meets him because he looks so similar to Orsino. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level 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 AS and A Level Twelfth Night essays

  1. Cruelty in "Twelfth Night" - an examination of Shakespeare's comedy's darker side.

    This conversation picks up on the scene in the Nunn film where Antonio is looking across the room on the ship watching the twins joking together. This can give many options to the relationship between Sebastian and Antonio, Sebastian sees, in my opinion, Antonio as an almost substitute for his

  2. Consider Shakespeare's presentation of Orsino and Olivia in Twelfth Night and consider how they ...

    Orsino becomes intrigued and for the only time within the play, is interested in some body else's life. Viola has a positive effect upon Orsino and makes him a more compassionate character; he does not think about himself for a change.

  1. Twelfth Night is a feminist play. Discuss.

    and confuse characters, and perhaps, emphasize on how other characters around him and interacting with him, appear silly, for instance, when Feste says something philosophical, and Olivia, his mistress, does not seem to understand it.

  2. How does Shakespeare present the theme of deception in the first two acts of ...

    Cesario would rather be the one he was in love with, 'yet a barful strife! Whoe'er I was myself be his wife'. This would originally create humour with the confusion of the situation making problems for the characters. However the audience begins to realise that it is a more serious situation for Viola.

  1. In-depth Commentary on Act 1 Scene 1 In Act1 Scene1, Count Orsino of Illyria ...

    In-depth commentary on Act 1 Scene 2 In the first scene Orsino describes his love for Olivia and in amongst his speech he mentions the sea and love's desire can hold us much as the sea. "That notwithstanding thy capacity Receiveth as the sea."

  2. Shakespeare uses this theme of different kinds of love to show the many different ...

    In addition, his love is stubborn, and blind. This is seen from how when Viola tries to open up his mind towards new things, with, "But if she cannot love you, sir?", he stubbornly replies, "I cannot be so answered".

  1. Discuss the different kinds of love presented in the play.

    He sees himself as a handsome and noble man. Malvolio believes many women would love to be with him. He likes to see things one way only, and he deceives himself just to suit his outlook on the situation. For example, in the play he twists Olivia's words around to make it sound like she admires his yellow cross-gartered stockings, when she really despises them.

  2. For all the resolutions between some characters, the ending of the play leaves too ...

    is as the maiden's organ, shrill and sound, and all is semblative a woman's part,? which provokes comical dramatic irony to the audience. In addition, the iambic pentameter which the two share in act 2 scene 4, ?Viola: I should your Lordship.

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