Twelfth Night Essay

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Source: "Viola, Antonio, and Epiphany in Twelfth Night" in Essays in Literature, Vol. XIII, No.2, Fall, 1986, pp. 187-99.

[Lewis positions Antonio as a Christ figure against which Viola's moral growth, the central concern of the play, is measured throughout Twelfth Night. Viola demonstrates sacrificial qualities early in the play, but they only come to fruition through her service and ultimate sacrifice to Orsino. Her major obstacle is her fear of losing control, but her salvation, the Critic asserts, is her clear-sightedness. This quality is demonstrated in Viola's interpretation of Olivia returning the ring she claimed Viola left behind as opposed to Malvolio's cloudy reasoning when attempting to decipher the letter he thinks is from Olivia. Antonio's example of sacrificing himself for Cesario, whom he believes to be Sebastian, is compared with Viola's sacrifice, when she offers to take the punishment Orsino who would like to deal to Olivia...

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This section contains 2,026 words
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Twelfth Night from Shakespeare for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.