Twelth Night- Shakespeare – What Impressions of the Characters Do We Get In Act 1?
Essay title: Twelth Night- Shakespeare – What Impressions of the Characters Do We Get In Act 1?
The characters of the play in Act 1 can be divided into two. Orsino, Viola and Olivia belong to the major plot while Maria, Sir Toby, Feste, Sir Andrew and Malvolio belong to the sub-plot.

Orsino starts off the play with his famous speech about love, If music be the food of love, play on. From there we can already tell that Twelfth Night will revolve around the theme of love. We see here that Orsino is comparing love to music. He has fallen in love with Olivia at first sight. We are given the impression that Orsino is a romantic lover. But on reaching Scene 4, we see how his love for her is not as deep as we thought. Therefore, good youth, address thy gait unto her, be not denied access, stand at her doors, and tell them, there thy fixed foot shall grow till thou have audience. We cant help but ask why he is not wooing Olivia himself. Perhaps his love is not as deep as he claims, O then unfold the passion of my love, surprise her with discourse of my dear faith, or that his love is only skin deep, O, when mine eyes did see Olivia first In fact, we can say that Orsino is only in love with the idea of love, not truly in love with Olivia.

Viola is the female protagonist
of the play. We first see her saved from a shipwreck and mourning over the lost of her twin brother, Sebastian, My brother he is in Elysium. Viola is a very strong-willed person as she does not dwell on the loss of her brother. Instead she plans ahead on what she is going to do in Illyria, Conceal me what I am… Ill serve this duke. This shows her as a strong-willed and decisive person. Viola is also quite educated and of high status, Above my fortunes, yet my state is well: I am a gentleman. She can successfully woo Olivia with her clever and romantic words, Make me a willow cabin at your gate… but you should pity me.

Olivia gives us quite a different impression from Viola. Both of them lost their brothers. Viola is strong and moves on but Olivia, on the other hand, dwells over her brothers death, The element itself, till seven years heat, shall not behold her face at ample view… Olivia depicts an emotionally weak female. This is because she fell in love easily with Viola/Cesario. She has sworn to hide herself from men for seven years, but when Viola/Cesarion comes along to woo her, her heart easily falls for her, Even so quickly may one catch the plague?

There three characters contributes to the theme of love. We have the love triangle here; Viola is in love with Orsino, Orsino is in love with Olivia and Olivia is, in turn, in love with Viola.

In scene 3, we meet Sir Toby. The first impression we get from him is that he is a rude drunkard. He is only interested in merriment and is also very parisitic. He is friends with Sir Andrew only because of his three thousand ducats a year. He speaks nicely towards Sir Andrew, Sweet Sir Andrew, but when Sir Andrew isnt there, he will be mocking him, What wench! Castiliano vulgo: for here comes Sir Andrew Agueface.

Sir Andrew is a fool and quite dim-witted. He is probably the character that brings in the most humour into the play. He misinterprets many things, Good Mistress Mary Accost, he follows blindly to whatever Sir Toby says, An you part so, mistress,

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Food Of Love And Good Youth. (April 2, 2021). Retrieved from