twelfth night

by Kayla Howard


In the play the Twelfth night by William Shakespeare Viola is on a ship that wrecks and is forced to take on a role of a man who serves Duke Orsino. Viola ends up getting her self stuck in a love triangle and doesn't know what to do about her identity. She wants to court the duke but is loved by another woman who believes she is a man and doesn't know she is not a man.

"Oh, that I served that lady

And might not be delivered to the world,

Till I had made mine own occasion mellow,

What my estate is." (I,i,38-41) pg.2.


Viola experiences her character in a very weird way, she is forced to play a mans role. She does very well at it but she ends up getting confused later on in the play about what she really wants to do and be. She loves the duke but he doesn't know she is a girl and Lady Olivia loves her but does not know she is really a woman. She has benefits in being able to play the role of a man and manipulate people by doing just that and she also has a downfall of people thinking she is a man but really being a woman.

"And so they are. Alas, that they are so,

To die even when they to perfection grow!" (II,iv,39-40) pg 4.


They see Viola as a girly looking male named Cesario. Other characters tell "him" that he has very pretty features and that she is spoken very well. Viola carry herself very well for the position she is stuck in and I think that can only be seen from a reader, but for the other characters in the play she is exactly as i described her.

"Thou dost speak masterly.

My life upon ’t, young though thou art, thine eye

Hath stay’d upon some favor that it loves.

Hath it not, boy?" (II,iv,1-4) pg.2.


I can see me and Viola being alike because she is spoken very well and she gets stuck in a situation that is caused by others actions and doesn't know what to do. I've been told I can be spoken well and I know from myself and my own thoughts that I get confused and don't know what to do sometimes when I am stuck in a situation that I'm not sure how to handle. I would do the same as she does in letting time unravel the problems in my life and letting them play out on their own. I see Viola and I being different because she doesn't go after she wants right away. When the ship she was on wrecked and she knew she wanted to court the Duke I personally would have gone for just that by showing him my wit and intelligence, hoping he would choose me over lady Olivia. Viola does not do this, she pretends to be another man and doesn't let him know how she feels and hides it for the most part.