Viola is the protagonist of the play Twelfth Night, written by William Shakespeare. When Sebastian, Viola's lost twin, arrives alive and well in Illyria with a pirate named Antonio, the chaos of mistaken identity ensues because of their. Sebastian is one of the main characters from William Shakespeare's play Twelfth Night, Background. Sebastian is the twin brother of Viola. After the beginning of the play, Viola mentions that her brother Sebastian is drowned in the sea. In Twelfth Night the relationships are anything but romantic. At the end of the play they meet and both fall in love, Viola with Orsino and Sebastian with Olivia.
The period supports this closeness and easy transgression of sexual boundaries not only by the existence of a transvestite theatre that invited its audience to see young boys as women, but also by the medical science of the day.
Medical and anatomical treatises from the time of Galen cited homologies in the genital structure of the sexes to show that male and female were versions of unitary species As Rackin explains the figure of the androgen was a conflicted image at best: The androgyne could be an image of transcendence- of surpassing the bounds that limit the human condition in a fallen world, of breaking through the constraints that material existence imposes on spiritual aspiration or the personal restrictions that define our roles in society.
But the androgyne could also be an object of ridicule or an image of monstrous deformity, of social or physical abnormality.
Antonio, insulted, infuriated, and believing Sebastian will not return money he had given him, gives full voice not only to his love for the youth, but also his disappointment, with particular emphasis on his beauty: This youth that you see here I snatched one half out of the jaws of death, Relieved him with such sanctity of love, And to his image, which methought did promise Most venerable worth, did I devotion.
But, O, how vile an idol proves this god! Thou hast, Sebastian, done good feature shame. Virtue is beauty, but the beauteous evil [. Antonio, at the very least, gives credence to the anti-theatricalists fears. Later in the play Antonio uses words seemingly borrowed from an anti-theatrical tract to explain his presence in Illyria: Pequigney historically contextualizes the attraction of men to boys: While these codifications did not exist at the time of the play they give us another course of analyzing the texts to uncover themes overlooked or invisible in the past.
My stars shine darkly over me. The malignancy of my fate might perhaps distemper yours. Therefore I shall crave of you your leave that I may bear my evils alone. I would not by my will have troubled you, But since you make your pleasure of your pains, I no further chide you… My kind Antonio, I can no other make but thanks, And thanks, and ever thanks… 3.
A short while later when Olivia asks again for the assurance of his willingness to marry her he again responds to placate her: In his contemplation of the quandary in which he has landed he thinks immediately of Antonio and is desirous of his assistance: She is the only one who seems to be genuinely in love. She also loves her brother deeply, and he reciprocates the same love. Orsino and Olivia essentially end up marrying male and female versions of the same person.
He does not love her though; he loves her position of power.
Sebastian (Twelfth Night) - Wikipedia
He has a strong desire to rise above his social status, and sees Olivia as the way to do it. Malvolio is stuffy, serious, and obviously in love with himself. He is very proud, and though he is only a steward, sets himself high above the rest of the people in the household. He daydreams about running the house, and ordering everyone else around.
His pride causes him to be extremely gullible, because he never doubts for a second that Olivia is in love with him. Malvolio deserves the humiliation that he gets, but his punishment is excessive and does not fit with the crime. He is locked in a dark room and everyone tries to convince him that he is mad. The audience feels sorry for him, because he is thoroughly mistreated. Malvolio seems to be the character in the play that has to suffer so that everyone else can be joyous; telling us that even fantasy worlds like Illyria are not perfect because there is still someone suffering.
The comedians in the play, Maria and Sir Toby strike up a relationship built upon friendly love. During the play, Sir Toby often admires Maria, who is his partner in crime. They are both very clever, so they make a perfect match. Her friend, Sir Toby, was continually impressed with her mastery of mischief.
They are close cohorts throughout the play, so it is no surprise when they elope at the end. Sir Toby and Maria do express a bit of remorse about their joke on Malvolio going too far, so they are forgiven and allowed to share in the happy ending.
There is also a very close friendship between Sebastian, and his rescuer, Antonio. Antonio professes his love for Sebastian, and foolishly gives away all of his money. He follows Sebastian into a town where he will surely face danger, because he cannot stand to be away from Sebastian.
Viola (Twelfth Night) - Wikipedia
Unfortunately, it is made clear that this kind of homosexual love is not welcome in the world of Illyria, where everyone pairs off in traditional marriages. Antonio is abandoned by Sebastian at the end of the play, and like Malvolio, there is no happy ending or resolution for him. Shakespeare makes it clear that this sort of love, like self-love, does not have a place in Illyria. Shakespeare explores every facet of love, which is a universal emotion.
It is an integral part of human life, and it is something that everyone can relate to. It is a song about growing up and discovering the harshness of life. We learn from Shakespeare that love does not conquer all obstacles, and not everyone gets a happy, fairy tale ending.
All joyful things come to and end, and eventually we must face the more serious aspects of life.