Viola/Cesario Twelth Night Essay, Research Paper
In Shakespeare s Twelfth Night it is evident that there is a fluctuation in attitude based on the character of Viola/Cesario. With Viola being Cesario she ends up better understanding both sexes and ending up having a better understanding for Orsino. At the beginning of the play when Viola is adopting her male identity, she is creating another self, like two masks. She can decide which to wear between the two emotions. She decides to take on this identity because she has more freedom in society in her Cesario mask, which is evident when she is readily accepted by Orsino, whereas, in her female identity she would not be. Thus, a customary role in society and to the outlooks of others is portrayed. Orsino sees Cesario, as a young man just starting out, much like himself as a young lad, so he has a tendency to be more willing to unload onto her with his troubles and sorrows, seeking a companion with which to share and to teach. Thus, Viola grows in her male disguise to get a better feeling for his inner self, not the self that he shows to the public, or would reveal and share with Viola in her true female self, but rather his secret self, as believes he shares with a peer. So, she grows to love him. But, Orsino s motivation is actually not love for Viola, but rather he seems to be in love with love itself. His entire world is filled with love but he knows that there might be a turning point for him. During the end of the play, when all the tricks and treacheries are revealed and all the masks are lifted, Orsino falls in love with Viola. He first forgives her/him of her/his duty to him, the master, then says that she shall now be her master s mistress: Your master quits you, and for your service done him, so much against the mettle of your sex, so far beneath your soft and tender breeding, and since you called me master for so long. This is sort of a switching love as he thought he was in love with Olivia in the beginning, but he readily switches his love to Viola, as he feels he knows her personality well. As for Viola she declares her love for Orsino many times, as if by saying that she would love him if she were a lady. When Orsino first sends Cesario to act as a messenger and send Orsino s love to Olivia, Cesario proclaims: I ll do your best to woo your lady, yet, a barful strife! This shows that Viola knows a difficult situation that she is in, and that she might try to woo her out of loving Orsino, so that she might have him for herself, except there is a slight, unexpected twist of fate After Cesario leaves from Olivia s she declares: what is your parentage? Above my fortune, yet my state is well: I am a gentleman.” I’ll be sworn thou art. Thy tongue, thy face, thy limbs, and spirit, do give thee five-fold blazon. Not too fast: soft, soft! Unless the master were the man. How now! Even so quickly may one catch the plague? Methinks I feel this youth’s per- fections with an invisible and subtle stealth to creep in at mine eyes. Well, let it be. What ho, Malvolio! Olivia, is thinking back to her question to Cesario, and his response to it. Then she replies to Cesario’s response, to herself, thinking about him. She agrees with his response, then goes over his many delightful features, and wonders how she so quickly has caught the plague of love for young Cesario. She decides that it is her feeling towards his youthful perfections that creep into her heart and to her eyes. Then she agrees with her decision, and sends for Malvolio, in hope that he may recall Cesario, so that she may talk with him again. Olivia feels a strong passionate love for Cesario, even though it was love at first sight for her. Cesario presented (himself) very magnificently and left a lasting impression in Olivia’s mind. The next time that Cesario came by, Olivia declared: Cesario, by the roses of the spring, by maid- hood, honour, truth and everything, I love thee so, that, maugre all thy pride, nor wit nor reason can my passion hide. This verifies that Olivia is profoundly in love with Cesario, despite all his pride. But, Cesario does not possess the same sentiments for Olivia as he says: By innocence I swear, and by my youth, I have one heart, one bosom and one truth, And that no woman has; nor never none shall mistress be of it, save I alone. And so adieu, good madam. Here, Viola tells Olivia that she could never love her, nor any other woman because she only has one love (to Orsino) and is loyal. But, Olivia is still in love, and requests that Cesario return. Overall, Viola learns that in the role of Cesario she had to be quick on her feet, and defend the probing questions and statements as to her love and others love for her. As well she acquired the skill to bide her time, until the time was right, lest she reveal her true self or intentions.