William Shakespeare Twelfth Night Discussion Board Responses

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William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” Discussion Board Responses

There are three discussion posts from fellow classmates below. I need thoughtful and intellectual replies to each post. Each reply should be a short paragraph of 4-6 sentences and can include insightful questions posed to the student being replied to. Sources are not necessary but if used do cite.

The document returned to me should identify Post: XX XX with the respective response.

Original Question:

There are three types of conflict (physical, metaphysical and psychological conflicts). Please describe, explain and post what is the major conflict (choose only 1 of the three conflicts mentioned) from this Shakespeare play, and explain why.

Post: #1 AM SA

Conflict is an important component of plays. Three types and levels of conflict exist in plays-physical, metaphysical, and psychological conflict. Physical conflict is conflict between two tangible people such as individuals. Physical conflict may be reflected through fights between friends, family members or lovers. Metaphysical conflict is conflict between a person and an intangible force. For example, man vs fate or man vs nature. Last, psychological conflict is simply a mental conflict. For example, a psychological conflict is between a character and his or her thoughts, ideas, actions, or beliefs.

With the understanding of the types of conflict used in plays, let’s explore the type used in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. First of all, this was an interesting read. I found it to be somewhat difficult so I read the play then watched it on YouTube for a better understanding. This play was one big love triangle! Viola is in love with Orsino, who is in love with Olivia, who is in love with Viola’s male disguise, Cesario. Keep in mind that neither Orsino or Olivia know that Viola is actually a woman. Although I believe a couple types of conflict could be identified in this play like physical and metaphysical, I believe the major conflict used in this play is metaphysical in nature. Metaphysical conflict pertains to a conflict between a person and an intangible force such as man vs fate, etc.

Fate plays a huge role in the play. The main character, Viola, struggles with an internal conflict during a majority of the play. After disguising herself as a male named Cesario, she works as a servant of Duke Orsino. Ultimately, she falls in love with him. However, because of her disguise, she cannot reveal her love for Orsino. Meanwhile, Orsino is struggling with his own conflict. He thinks he is in love with Olivia, but she constantly turns him down. On another note, Olivia thinks she is in love Cesario (Viola in disguise), but Cesario rejects her too. Just when you think it’s complicated enough, Sir Andrew Aguecheek further complicates the play. He wants to marry Olivia also. He becomes jealous of Cesario (Viola in disguise) when he mistakenly believes that Cesario’s repetitive visits to Olivia’s mean that he is fighting for Olivia’s love. Aguecheek then challenges Cesario to a duel. Last, fate proves it’s presence with the surprise of Viola’s brother Sebastian. It was thought he died in the shipwreck but in the end, fate brought the twins back together, finally reuniting. With all this said, I feel the major conflict is metaphysical in nature.

Post: #2 DO CO

There are three types of conflict that may be present in a play: physical, metaphysical and psychological conflict (Stepney, n.d.). A physical conflict occurs between one character and another character (Stepney, n.d.). A metaphysical conflict occurs between a character and their circumstances such as their environment, nature or destiny (Stepney, n.d.). Both physical and metaphysical conflicts come from outside sources and are therefore external conflicts. A psychological conflict is between a character and themselves (Stepney, n.d.). Since the conflict comes from within the character it is an internal conflict. In “Twelfth Night” by Shakespeare, the dominant conflict is a love triangle between Viola, Olivia and Orsino (SparkNotes Editors, 2003). Therefore, the major conflict present in the play is physical in nature.

Viola is the protagonist of the play. She is an aristocratic woman who finds herself shipwrecked on the coast of Illyria and believes her brother to have died in the storm. She disguises herself as a boy and obtain a position as a pageboy for Orsino, the Duke and ruler of Illyria. In her role as a pageboy, she goes by the name Cesario (Weigel, 2017). Viola, acting in her role as Cesario, becomes a confidante to Orsino and falls in love with him. “At the beginning of the play, Orsino is obsessed by his unrequited love for Olivia” (Weigel, 2017, para. 2). Unaware of Cesario’s identity or the fact that Viola is in love with him, Orsino asks Cesario to go to Olivia and plead his case as a suitor. Olivia is a beautiful noblewoman living in Illyria who is mourning the death of her recently deceased brother. She has vowed not to receive any man for seven years. However, when she meets Cesario (Viola pretending to be a man) she forgets her oaths and falls in love (Weigel, 2017). Poor Viola finds herself in the uncomfortable position of trying to convince Olivia to accept the affections of Orsino who she secretly loves while at the same time attempting to avoid the attentions of Olivia who is in love with Cesario (Viola). Although this situation creates an internal psychological conflict for the protagonist Viola and the shipwreck creates an external metaphysical conflict, these two conflicts are minor in regard to the dominant conflict of the play which is both external and physical. It is the unusual love triangle between Viola, Orsino and Olivia that forms the basis for the plot of this play (Shmoop Editorial Team, 2008).

Post: #3 KA MI

The main conflict for “Twelfth Night” by Shakespeare is physical. Physical conflict is conflict between one character and another. Everyone is in love with another but most are lies considering Viola or “Cesario” is lying about her true self. She PHYSICALLY deceived people and made people believe she was a male. The climax to me was when Sebastian and Viola are reunited, and everyone realizes that Viola is really a woman. Viola is trying to help Olivia accept Orsino’s feelings but also trying to avoid her from falling even more so for Cesario (Viola). Which makes for even more twists and turns and comedy within this play!


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