In Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night”, it is obvious that the oscillation of attitude, in the dual role played by the character of Viola/Cesario, gives her a better understanding of both sexes. It allows her to encompass a better discernment of the sentiments of the Duke, Orsino. Near the onset of the play, when Viola is assuming her male identity, she fashions an alternate self, giving her two masks. She takes on the “Cesario” identity in order to achieve more freedom in society. This is evident when, as Cesario, Orsino readily accepts her; while, as Viola, he may not have. Thus, the customary societal outlook on gender is portrayed. She now has the difficult task of deciding which mask to wear as she alternates between her two identities, both in emotion and in character. Orsino sees Cesario much like himself as a youth. For that reason, he has a tendency to be more willing to share his troubles and sorrows with him/her. To Orsino, Cesario is somewhat of a companion with whom to share and to teach. Thus, Viola grows in her male disguise to gain a better understanding of Orsino’s inner self, not the self that he shows to the public, but rather his undisclosed self, shared only with an intimate cohort. In the course, however, she grows to love him, while he seems to be in love with “love itself.” His entire world is overflowing with love, but he foresees a potential turning point; apparent when he says, “If music be the food of love, play on; give me excess of it, that, surfeiting, the appetite may sicken, and so die. From this quote, the reader perceives Orsino’s realization that he is caught up in “love”, as well as his desire for this hunger of love to somehow diminish. A variety of fools enhance the comical appeal of this play. Maria, Olivia’s companion, is one such “fool. She is enthusiastic in playing pranks on others. She employs Feste, Sir Andrew, and Sir Toby to carry out her tomfoolery, while she …
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