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Her uncle, Sir Toby, is also of a high social standding, and is therefore able to provide for her if he is needed. In Act 1, Scene 3, Maria shows her strong and daring character by telling off Sir Toby for not acting like a man and for ‘quaffing’ and drinking. “My lady takes great exception to your ill hours. Ay, but you must confine yourself With the modest limits of order. That quaffing and drinking will undo you” Maria is also cunning enough to be able to play a trick on Malvolio by writing a fake Letter to him, which was supposedly meant to be from Olivia, declaring her love
and asking him to wear a pair of yellow cross-gartered stockings. “I will drop in his way some obscure epistle of love. He shall find himself feeling Personated. I can write very like my lady. Your niece; on a forgotten matter. ” (Act 2, Scene 3, Lines 151-152, 154-155, and 155-156) She may be Olivia’s lady in waiting, but she is also able deceive her as well as. Malvolio. When he visits Olivia, she is surprised by his new clothes as well as his constant smiling. Maria is ‘strong’ enough to play along with the joke pretending that she doesn’t know what has resulted in Malvolio’s behaviour. She’s also warns her mistress
about Malvolio. “Where’s Malvolio? ” “He’s coming, madam; but in a very strange manner. He is sure possessed, madam” (Act 3, Scene 4, Lines 7-9) The relationship between Olivia and Viola is very intimate, as Olivia begins to slowly Realize that she is in love with Cesario. She describes it as catching the plague, and is quite astonished that it had happened so quickly. “How now? Even so quickly one may catch the plague? ” (Act 1, Scene 5, Line 291) Olivia also has a longing to know what Cesario’s parentage is. This may Be because she can only imagine a future with him if he were of a high born status.
However the reply that she receives appeals to her, as she wasn’t expecting such a ‘drawn-out’ answer. ‘Above my fortunes, yet my state is well” (Act 1, Scene 5, Lines 274-275) The three women, however, have a good insight into the other characters. In Maria’s Case, she has a good understanding of Sir Toby, as she is secretly in love with him, and later we are told that she ends up marrying him. “Maria writ, the letter at Sir Toby’s great importance in recompense whereof he hath Married her. ” (Act 5, Scene 1, Lines 355-357) Olivia has a good understanding of Orsino, as she has become somewhat used to him
Sending an attendant to her, with a speech in which Orsino declares his love for Olivia. Olivia tells Viola “O, then unfold the passion of my love, surprise her with discourse of my dear faith. It Shall become thee well to act my woes; She will attend it better thy youth than in a Nuncio’s of more grave aspect. ” (Act 1, Scene 4, Lines 24-28) In Viola’s case, when she is dressed as a man, she thinks that she knows Olivia, however, Olivia is curious about this ‘young boy’ and wants to know more about him. Viola questions Olivia about her face and asks her if she is wearing makeup. She
replies by saying that it is her natural beauty. Viola instantly notices that this is not true, as to her she can tell that makeup has been applied. She knows this as she is really a girl in disguise. However, Viola still compliments her on her fake beauty. “Excellently done, if God did all. Tis beauty truly blent, whose red and white nature’s Own sweet and cunning hand laid on” (Act 1, Scene 5, Lines 232-235) She sets aside her grief, and has a sudden interest in this young boy. She begins to feel an attraction to Cesario but Sir Toby in many ways has the most control over the relationship, as Olivia is his niece.
In Shakespearean times, a noble man or woman would let down their reputation if They married someone of a lower social status. It was expected that people were to marry someone of the same social standing and most of the aristocratic marriages were arranged. In ‘Twelfth Night’, Maria is able to Increase her social standing by marrying Sir Toby. Her Success however may have because she had accepted the chaos that Sir Toby has produced. Olivia is in the position of power, and is considered to be of a very high status. However, Sebastian isn’t far off in the social standing and the same goes for
the relationship of Duke Orsino and Viola. This means that Sebastian is able to marry Olivia who is of the same social standing, which was considered appropriate. I have come to a conclusion that in ‘Twelfth Night,’ the only people who found it difficult to look after themselves were the men. Shakespeare made out Olivia, Viola and Maria to be independent. When Duke Orsino is ‘lovesick’ he gets Cesario to go and woo her for him, while he is sitting on a chair contemplating his love for Olivia whilst listening to music. This suggests that Orsino is emotionally weak, and that he allows his music to feed his melancholy. “If music be the food of love, play on” (Act1, Scene1, Line 1)
Viola proves that she is a strong willed woman by effectively convincing Duke Orsino that she is a man. In my opinion, I think that Shakespeare didn’t agree that women were inferior to men. ?? ?? ?? ?? Alima Ali Twelfth Night Coursework GS1 1 Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Miscellaneous section.