Portrayal of Women in Twelfth Night Essay examples

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The Portrayal of Women in Twelfth Night

The women in Shakespear's play: Twelfth Night, are all depicted as having power, comedic and being very emotional.

All of the female characters are given power, whether it be over each other, men or their servants. The woman with the power over the greatest number of people is Olivia, she has numerous servants and doesn't hesitate to give them orders, which can be seen in (1.5.287) when she orders Malvolio to "run after that peevish messenger" and in (3.1.92-94) when she says: "let the garden door be shut and leave me to my hearing". The second female character with power obtains it in a very different way. Maria is Olivia's servant and must obey Olivia, but since she has been around Olivia
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She uses her handwriting, which is almost that of Olivia's, to write a false letter of love to Malvolio who follows the letter exactly and ends up wearing yellow, cross gartered stockings (both fashions are loathed by Olivia). Maria's plot is unveiled when she talks to Sir Toby and Sir Andrew and says: "I will drop in his way some obscure epistles of love,". The message contained in the letters is later revealed in (3.2.64-65) when Maria bursts into the room with Fabian, Sir Andrew and Sir Toby to declare: "He's in yellow stockings". The women in Twelfth Night are quite emotional, seeking love and revenge constantly, it is a trait that makes the play all the more interesting and at some points funny.

Female characters in Twelfth Night are portrayed in a variety of different ways, while Maria is comedic and prankster-like, Olivia is grief-stricken for all but the last scene of the play. However, all the women have things in common for example, their power over others and their vast array of