April 18, 2013
Twelfth Night (Blog 6)
In the Twelfth Night Acts III through Act V there are themes that are seen throughout. There is a huge confusion with identity and it ends up causing madness. Clothing is what adds to a person’s identity as though it makes the person believe that whatever clothes they have on is who they are. Humor is good, but there are incidents seen where it has been taken too far such as Antonio and especially Malvolio. The tricks and jokes played on different people cause chaos and confusion in which causes madness. In meditation the role of identity can relate in that you are reflecting upon yourself and it is like looking at yourself and observing your actions based on your view.
Olivia has clearly fallen in love with Cesario in belief that she found love at first sight and not knowing that Cesario is actually a woman. Viola plays an important role and with Olivia, although she hasn’t managed for her to fall for Orsino; she has managed to get her out of her state of grief. Olivia and Orsino are alike in that both of them like someone who rejects them and continue to pursue them anyway. Olivia does not know she has essentially fallen in love with a woman, and Orsino later on after finding out Cesario is a woman, and as he confesses his love continues to addresses her as a man. It brings into question if Orsino really fell in love with “Cesario” or Viola. He seems to love her masculinity and tells her to put the women’s garments on. The clothing seems to just confirm that she is a woman but it is left unclear of which persona Orsino really loves in Viola. The idea of wearing clothing as a way to represent you is found also when Fester dresses up as Sir Topas even though Malvolio cannot see him anyway. The clothing gives Fester status and makes him feel as though he is actually Sir Topas. Olivia ends up marrying Sebastian without knowing that he is not Cesario. There is another identity confusion, which also causes Sebastian to question whether this is real, or a dream. Sebastian accepts the confusion and finds it impressive how people kept on acknowledging him and telling him that they knew him.
Antonio and Malvolio are the only two different characters in the Acts because they know they are not mad. However Antonio thinks Sebastian betrayed him because he thought Cesario was him and accused him of denying him and stealing his money. Everyone thought he was mad but he was not lying about what he was saying about Sebastian. Malvolio locked up in a dark room downstairs still believes and knows he is not insane although the others try to convince him otherwise in trying to make him believe there are windows and light. Malvolio does know about the trick and still follows his ego that Olivia understands him. He knows he is not insane but has a big ego.
The confusion unravels at the end when Sebastian and Viola find each other and everyone realizes the mistakes of their confusion. The funny part was that they just accepted reality and continued on. Olivia stayed with Sebastian and Orsino with Viola. Antonio stayed with no one because he seemed to have more feelings than just friendship for Sebastian. At the end it seems as though they still don’t know what love is because Olivia stayed with Sebastian for his appearance resembling Cesario and we do not see if Orsino really loves Viola or why his sudden change after pursuing Olivia.
Meditation connects to the identity confusion in the book because it helps to clear the mind and observe your thoughts. The characters could not make sense of what they believed was madness. During meditation it made me think about the reasons for my actions and it was like a clarification of how I base my decisions. It helps you find who you are.