Ultimately, then, Shakespeare raises questions about human identity and whether such classifications as gender and class status are fixed entities or can be changed with a simple shift of wardrobe.
At the same time, however, Shakespeare subverts these images of love as a terrible disease or appetite, suggesting that it may not be as serious as characters like Olivia and Orsino think. The central character in this regard is the protagonist, Viola. Which characters in the play spend time in disguise, and how is this thematically important?
Orsino describes it as an "appetite" that must be satisfied I. At this point, the play is only a few delicate steps away from turning into a tragedy—a testament to how violent and terrible the power of love can be.
Orsino loses Olivia but happily takes up with Viola, while Olivia gladly exchanges a pretend man, Cesario, for a real one in Sebastian. The servants, whom Malvolio does command, get authority over Malvolio himself by being able to lock him in the dark room as a madman. Thus, by dressing his protagonist in male garments, Shakespeare shows how malleable and self-delusional human romantic attraction can be.
Both of them tend to be melodramatic and self-centered, and both seem more interested in being in love than in any particular love interest.
In his case, the change of clothing suggests his belief that altering his wardrobe can lead to an alteration of his social status. Malvolio, for instance, dreams of marrying Olivia and gaining authority over his social superiors, such as Sir Toby.
People seem to suffer painfully from it—or at least they claim to suffer. The most obvious example is Viola, who puts on the clothing of a man and makes everyone believe that she is a male.
What points does Shakespeare seem to be making about romance? Another character in disguise is Malvolio, who dresses oddly in crossed garters and yellow stockings in the hope of winning Olivia.
All in all, the play is permeated with a sense of joyful confusion, in which nothing can be taken for granted. Love is generally represented as something sudden and irresistible, something that attacks its victim from the outside in a fashion similar to a disease.
After she arrives on Illyrian shores, she takes on the disguise of a young man, thus at once concealing her identity and reversing her normal gender role. Later, after Malvolio has been declared mad and has been confined to a dark room, Feste, pretending to be the fictional priest Sir Topas in order to deceive Malvolio, puts on a disguise—even though Malvolio will not be able to see him since the room is so dark.
This reversal leads to a most confusing love life, in which she winds up loving a man and being loved by a woman who do not realize that she is a woman.
One could argue that normal situations are turned upside down in Illyria in several ways. For Feste, at least, the disguise makes the man—in order to be Sir Topas, he must look like Sir Topas. First, there is the prevalence of disguise and the ambiguity of gender roles.Twelfth Night, Role Playing, and Disguises.
Number of Pages: 7 In seven pages the ways in which William Shakespeare thematically employed role playing and disguise elements in the play are examined. Home → SparkNotes → Shakespeare Study Guides → Twelfth Night → Study Questions.
Twelfth Night William Shakespeare. Contents. Plot Overview + Summary & Analysis; Act I, scenes i–ii; Act I, scenes iii–iv; Act I, scene v; Act II, scenes i–ii; Act II, scenes iii–iv; Act II, scene v.
A summary of Act V, scene i in William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Twelfth Night and what it means.
Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. Gender roles in Shakespeare's 'Twelfth Night' Topics: Gender England, William Shakespeare is considered by many to have been the greatest writer the English language has ever known.
His literary legacy included 37 plays, sonnets, and five major poems. Among his many plays is the notable, Twelfth Night. Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare is a romantic comedy set in Illyria during the Christmas season. The article analysis is a critique on the elements of folly and foolery in Shakespeare’s twelfth night.
The role of disguises in william shakespeares twelfth night Celebrating four hundred years of Shakespeare. believed to have been written in The Taming of the Shrew is the role of disguises in william shakespeares twelfth night a comedy by William Shakespeare.Download