The play twelfth night, though largely a comedy, has it's fair share of challenges and obstacles which it's characters face throughout the plot. These revolve around love, honour and the death and loss of loved ones. However one character stands out to me as having faced the most difficult and trying of challenges, yet emerged with her pride and dignity intact. She coped well with all the problems that were thrown at her with a quiet resilience far beyond her years, and is worthy of our admiration.
Viola as Cesario faced the most challenges in the play. It almost seems that fate never leaves her alone, as her difficulties start as soon as we are introduced to her, washed up upon the shores of illyria having barely survived a shipwreck. Alone in a foreign land with her only kin, her twin brother Sebastian believed to be dead, she is left to fend for herself for, or so it seemed, the remainder of her days.
For any young female, this would be a devastating situation to be thrown into, and viola was no exception. Apart from having to deal with the loss of her brother, she also had to find a way to survive in illyria. Perhaps this is where the resilience in viola's nature is first shown instead of breaking down and mourning bitterly the death of her loved one, she immediately devises a plan to disguise herself as a male and serve duke orsino.
But unfortunately for viola, fate was not on her side, and this disguise which was meant to assist her only turned out to be a bigger burden in time to come.
Complications also arose when viola fell in love with her master, duke orsino, while at the same time had the love interest of orsino, the countess Olivia, trying to woo her. This placed viola in an extremely difficult and complex situation on one hand, she loved the duke and would have liked to do all she could to win his heart. But because she was his servant, she was obliged to serve him and help him win the hand of Olivia. What was a poor girl to do ?...
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