Viola And Olivia Character Analysis

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Twelfth Knight

In Twelfth Knight, Shakespeare emphasises the importance of love through the perspectives of different characters. Shakespeare illustrates many love triangles whose characters become the core of the plot; Viola and Olivia have the most significant relationship. Viola and Olivia are both women raised to self-esteem, manners, intelligence, and wealth. Both characters are strong willed in receiving what they deserve. Shakespeare was defying social expectations though these two strong willed characters; unlike women in the 16th Century Olivia and Viola oppose from leaning on a man in times of hardship and when getting married both branch out of their social status to be with someone they love.
Shakespeare uses one of his Shakespearean Comedic Conventions, character balancing, to offset Viola from Olivia. Although both characters share some of the same qualities they also contradict each other. For example the death of Viola’s brother was handled with maturity and optimism. When put in an uncomfortable situation Viola did not lean on a man for comfort but instead develops a plan for coping with life without her brother and pursues it. Olivia on the other hand also lost her brother tragically. Valentine explains how Olivia copes with the loss of her brother, “...The element itself, till seven years’ heat, Shall not behold her face at ample view, But like a cloistress she will veiled walk, And water once a day her chamber round With eye-offending brine-- all this to season A brother;s dead love…” (1.1.25-31). Olivia 's response of mourning is to mourn for seven years
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The differences between Viola and Olivia for example, prove that women don’t need a man to do work for them, and that different social classes can mix. All these social expectations about women and love were broken to prove that stereotypes are not always

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