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Viola: Act 1


AS - Level English (Twelfth Night) Mind Map on Viola: Act 1, created by Anna Jones on 10/08/2015.
Anna Jones
Mind Map by Anna Jones, updated more than 1 year ago
Anna Jones
Created by Anna Jones over 6 years ago

Resource summary

Viola: Act 1
  1. In Act 1 Scene 2 Shakespeare continues to demonstrate the contrast between Orsino and Viola
    1. Opening line 'What country, friends, is this?'
      1. Shakespeare immediately presents her in contrast to Orsino and Olivia, due to the fact that they are both static and passive characters rather than actively instigating
        1. Extremely practical question, emphasised by the predominantly monosyllabic sentence, as it has connotations of simplicity
          1. demonstrates that Viola is interested in the basic facts and information she needs to adapt and adjust herself accordingly. Shows her to be resourceful, intelligent and practical
            1. Strongly contrasts her behaviour to the Duke's as she could easily follow his example by mourning the death of her brother and succumbing to grief or fatigue, but instead she is focused on improving her current situation and solving her immediate problems.
          2. Her mediating role between Orsino and Olivia is hinted at due to the link found in her arrival by water as well as the fact that the suffering of all three has connotations of water.
            1. Viola believes Sebastian to have 'drowned'
              1. Orsino is suffering from the cruelty of 'the sea' of love
                1. Olivia's 'eye-offending brine' due to the death of her brother
              2. Makes the audience easily recognise why Olivia is attracted to Viola rather than Orsino, otherwise they'd most likely think that the two nobles, with similar sounding names and mannerisms would end up together
                1. 'He was a bachelor then'
                  1. show's her astute and intelligent nature
                    1. Shakespeare presents this to make it understandable how she could gain favour with the obviously intelligent Duke.
                    2. Is an oddly specific and interesting detail to remember, the noun 'bachelor' is emphasised due to the rest of the sentence being monosyllabic.
                      1. Shakespeare does this to ensure the audience understands this as it's essential to the main plot of the play, also demonstrates how Viola already has some status therefore making the marriage between her and Orsino ordered.
                        1. If it wasn't ordered then it wouldn't be an acceptable ending.
                  2. 'O that i served that lady,'
                    1. another characteristic of hers that makes her appealing which Orsino lacks is her compassion and empathy for Olivia
                      1. predominantly due to their shared loss of a 'brother' therefore Viola can easily relate to her, although she doesn't represent her sadness in the same way as she is more direct and resourceful than Olivia
                        1. 'if she be so abandoned to her sorrow as it is spoke, she never will admit me.'
                          1. use of sibilance creates a soft soothing tone, reflects her role as comforting Orsino and her wish to comfort Olivia due to their shared suffering and emotions.
                            1. Acts as a contrast to Orsino's lack of sympathy and insistence on getting Olivia's affections, he continues to act loudly and brashly (reflects his narcissism)
                              1. Presents Viola as realistic, understands that consistency of reports from Olivia means there is little/no hope
                          2. begins with a filler 'O' emphasising the sympathy Viola has for Olivia despite the fact that they are strangers highlighted by the reference as 'that lady'
                            1. shows the renewed agony faced by Viola which contributes to her sympathy
                          3. Shows Viola's emerging love for Orsino.
                            1. 'To woo your lady. Yet a barful strife! Whoe'er I woo, myself would be his wife.'
                              1. rhyming couplet ensures information divulged to the audience has maximum dramatic effect.
                                1. Is an essential piece of knowledge which adds both to the plot line and the humour of the play.
                                  1. Humour: allows the audience to have a double advantage over Orsino, know that Viola is a woman and that she wants to marry him, although less funny for modern audiences, would've been hilarious in that time period and begins to add to the confusion and disorder of the play.
                            2. Demonstrating her wit and intelligence
                              1. 'I would be loath to cast away my speech'
                                1. Almost disrespectful, not quite as aided by the fact that Olivia is wearing a veil making it genuinely hard to see her face.
                                  1. Unpompous treatment of Olivia allows Viola to behave in a way previous messengers couldn't
                                    1. e.g uses first person rather than third which would be more common for a messenger, use of first helps to intensify the relationship between them
                                  2. Brazenness, emphasised by predominantly monosyllabic sentence is a great example of the unpompous, almost maverick treatment Vila has that seems to attract Olivia.
                                    1. simplicity of Viola's language is a common feature of her character, reflects her straightforward nature and how she contrasts to the natives of Illyria
                                      1. her energy and spontaneity found in her witty remarks is much more charismatic than Orsino's flowery language
                                        1. 'Make me a willow cabin at your gate'
                                          1. Original romantic idea
                                            1. Shakespeare demonstrates that passion is almost easier to identify in simplistic language
                                              1. Use of imperative verb 'make' causes Olivia to view Viola as a novelty
                                                1. Similarly to Feste is only character who Olivia lets speak to her in such a manner.
                                                2. Intensity of idea turns up the erotic heat of the encounter
                                                  1. seems like a proclamation of love from an ardent lover rather than a messenger.
                                                    1. Heavily ironical that the passion she uses to deliver her message derives from her longing for Orsino, but it's this passion that increases the intense relationship between her and Olivia that could be seen to cut out Orsino.
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