Evaluation on the Names of Feste and Olivia from Twelfth Night

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Twelfth Night – Exploring the names of the Characters
I am going to explore the two names of:
* Olivia
* Feste

Olivia

When I first saw the name ‘Olivia’, I automatically thought of anagrams. Olivia is almost a perfect anagram of ‘Viola’! Although Olivia and Viola possess a number of qualities which are not just different, but in complete opposition with one another other, they do in fact have a great deal in common. The names Shakespeare has given the two characters is perhaps a reflection of this as they are cleverly arranged to form two different names. I feel that because the Duke wants to woo Olivia (when really Olivia is falling in love with Cesario who is actually a girl whose name is Viola who is falling in love with the Duke); it’s almost fate that Duke’s affections would eventually fall in love with Viola.

Feste

I feel that ‘Feste’ is a suggestive name. It could have relation to the Italian, “Festa” (Party) or the English, “Festival”. Feste the fool gives us the image of a jolly man who is like a clown. I find that his name isn’t entirely true for Feste as during the play, Feste is portrayed as a wise man rather than a fool. Also, Feste is not always happy! At the end of the play, Feste sings the line, “For the Rain it Raineth everyday”, suggesting that every day brings some kind of misery - a somewhat melancholy line for a clown I think you’ll agree.
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