12th Night or What you will- Viola
By: Sophia Acevedo
The given circumstances in the play are many but the given circumstances of Viola will be different. Viola’s given circumstances that she is a girl. Viola has a twin named Sebastian. Viola is also shipwrecked on an island and had no idea where she was. Another given circumstance is that Viola and her twin have lost their parents.Viola and her twin were born into high court. Viola is single when she reaches the island.
Major Dramatic Question
Much like the dramatic question Viola's super objective is to see if she can make it through her journey of acting like a man without revealing herself to the people around her. An issue with this is that she needs Duke Orsino after working for him for a little bit and falls in love yet he is in love with Olivia who is in love with Viola also known as Cesario. as the journey further deepen and more characters and more confusion comes into play it is unsure whether or not Viola will achieve her super objective and the audience member is left wondering and at the edge of their seats to see how it turns out.
Short Plot Analysis
The show opens in Illyria and focuses on the lovesick Duke Orsino who dreams of Olivia. Olivia is a Countess and has no interest in him because of the fact that her brother has died. She declares that she will lock herself in her room for seven years but the Duke does not care. While that is happening Viola washes upon the shores of Illyria and she believes that her brother has drowned. She talks to the sea captain and he helps her transform into a boy so that she can work and support herself. She goes to work for Duke Orsino and they grow to be very close. Olivia has to live life quite uncomfortably as she has no brother and is fighting off suitors such as the Duke, Sir Andrew Aguecheek, and Malvolio. The first task that Duke asks Viola, or Cesario, to do is to go and tell Olivia how much the Duke loves her. Sadly, Viola reveals the the audience that she love Duke Orsino and we are left wondering how she will deal with Olivia who has taken a certain liking to her. As things begin to get more confusing Sebastian(Viola’s brother) returns and soon caused more chaos. As Sebastian returns he does not realize that earlier that day Viola backed out of a duel with sir Aguecheek and Aguecheek approaches Sebastian and slaps him not knowing that Sebastian is not Viola and gets into a large fight. Olivia breaks the fight and immediately proposes to Sebastian thinking that he Viola and he accepts it. After everyone is aware that Cesario was really Viola, Duke Orsino proposes to her and they get married and the play ends.
The beauty of acting is that it allows for a person to put a new perspective on a character and add their own twist. In my take on Viola I find her to be brave, feisty, and independent. Viola can represent many things for many people and I believe that Shakespeare did that so that in the future people can interpret her in different ways. In a more popular version of 12th night known as She’s the Man, they pictured Viola as a funny, quirky, determined, tomboyish, and beautiful girl. This is a very successful and generally accurate description of how I would describe her as well. Source work is different in the sense that it places the character in a different object or person as the person sees the person. I have pictured Viola in three different things: an animal, a color, and an actress. The animal that I have chosen for Viola is a Snowy Owl. The Snowy Owl is a beautiful creature and is fierce yet beautiful. I thought that Viola was the owl because she is wise, and beautiful but fierce and strong. Another reason I chose the owl was because it lives in the Arctic and is white so it blends into its surroundings much like Viola did when she became Cesario. For Viola’s color I chose an electric blue. I chose this color because I think it pops and Viola’s personality pops out and the color seems impossible to ignore and that is how I interpret Viola to be. She is so independent and open minded and I believe that those are two qualities that make someone impossible to ignore. Finally for the actress that I chose I decided that Jennifer lawrence would be the perfect match. Amanda Bynes had previously played Viola and did an amazing job and I believe that Jennifer Lawrence’s personality matches to hers which would allow for her to do an equally amazing job. Jennifer is funny and is a unique and different personality in the world of Hollywood. She would be a great Viola and I think that she would have a very memorable performance as well as interest people of younger ages to watch 12th Night. The choices for my source work help reflect how I interpreted Viola and how I would cast and categorize her.
Acting Style of the Period
12th Night written by the amazing William Shakespeare was produced in the 16th century. In the 16th century acting styles were slightly different to that of now.The 16th century theatre is also known as Elizabethan Theatre. During this time the theatre was extremely popular and people from all classes came to see shows and watch in enjoyment. Shows were produced at a very high rate due to the fact that audiences loved to see them that much. This era produced many different companies and different writers and one of them was Shakespeare. An example of some companies that emerged during this time is Shakespeare’s The King’s Men, The Lord Chamberlain's Men and the Admiral's Men. These companies competed against each other and the names themselves represented the power that theatre had and how it represented wealth and social ranking. During this time companies would perform 30 to 40 shows a year and women were never in the shows. Acting was not seen as a respectable profession for them. In order to fill women role they found young men and asked them to perform. The theatre made the actors wear very lavish and classy costumes in order to keep them up to date with the standards of upperclass. Although not all theatres were big and clean they attracted extremely large crowds. At some point Parliament had said that it could be horrible because it could increase the spread of disease. The performances were usually in the afternoons and could range from 2 to 3 hours long! The Elizabethan Era of theatre also evolved the round theatre. The Globe is a popular example of the round theatre and is an icosagon which is a 20 sided polygon. The Globe can hold up to 3000 people and had flags hanging outside the building letting the people know what kind of play was being shown in that time. Later during the 16th century when it was seeming as though Civil War was going to break out they closed the theaters and they were not reopened until 1660 when King Charles II came to the throne and lead them into the Restoration.
An iconic movie with a more modern take on 12th Night and super funny!