William Shakespeare 's Twelfth Night Essays

1050 Words Oct 29th, 2015 null Page
William Shakespeare’s plays are revolutionary not only because of his talented writing and creative thoughts, but also because of his forward thinking, progressive ideas. In a time where women were given little voice to no voice in society, Shakespeare wrote about powerful female characters with crucial roles in his plot. In his famous play Twelfth Night he continues this forward thinking by attacking the rigid gender roles of the time, while also giving the audience with comedic relief and exciting plot twists by, through his manipulation of his characters’ identities. With the use of dialogue between the three major characters, Viola, Olivia and Orsino, Shakespeare reveals two powerful themes: mistaken identity and destruction of past societal roles for women.
The most obvious portrayal of mistaken identity is in Viola’s decision to reverse genders in order to work for Orsino. This added complication to the story because she was treated much differently than she would be treated if she were to act like the female that she is. For example, if Orsino had know that she were a female he would not have opened up to her about his love for Olivia, and his opinions about love in general. In Act 2 Scene 4 Orsino explains to Cesario, “There is no woman’s sides can bide the beating of so strong a passion as love doth give my heart. No woman’s heart so big, to hold so much. They lack retention.” When Cesaro counters his statement, Orsino is open to hear his opinion. If Cesario’s true…

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