Act 1

If you cannot read the mind map click here to download a PDF and here to download a freemind document. Or click a button below

Character Sketches



Character Sketch on Viola

Viola is one of the main characters in the play and is the character that gets the plot moving. Viola washed up on the shores of Illyria when her ship went down. It is here that we can see her first characteristic, she is proactive. She decides to not stay around and wait for her brother, but to go and make a living to allow herself to survive. This shows that she does not want to wait for a desperate time to come, but she wants to rather avoid it and live a pleasant life. Viola’s next main characteristic is her “identity crisis”. Viola decided to go under a disguise that made her look like her brother. She did this in order to work for Orsino. Many people might find this weird as there must have been other royals that were able to hire her. This was a short piece of writing to summarise the character of Viola in the first act.


Character Sketch on Lady Olivia

Lady Olivia is part of a love triangle in the Twelfth Night and has very interesting characteristics which define her. Her first stand out characteristic is that she is very dramatic. She over-reacts to her brothers death, and instead of moving on, she decided to go into hiding for seven years. This is a very extensive period of time, even for such an event in someone’s life. The reader is also shown that Olivia’s emotions aren’t pure in a sense that she changes moods and emotions very quickly. We can see this when Olivia meets Cesario. Her emotion instantly changes from grief to love in a matter of minutes. This was a summary of the character known as Lady Olivia from the Twelfth Night.


Character Sketch on Duke Orsino

Duke Orsino is a royal in the world of the Twelfth Night. He is quite an obsessive character, this can be seen in many instances throughout the first act, but one particular instance would be when he is obsessing over Lady Olivia in the first scene. He goes overboard with the flowers and music for someone he hardly knows. This shows us his obsessive trait. Another stand out characteristic for Duke Orsino would be his objectification trait. We can see that he is objectifies things in his love life, with Lady Olivia. Duke Orsino clearly does not know Lady Olivia very well - we can see this because she shuts him away very often and she doesn’t let him in her house (they don’t spend a lot of time together)- this means that he is in love with Lady Olivia because of her beauty and not her personality, objectifying her. 


Character Analysis


• Viola

        ○ Identity change

        ○ Pro-active 

            § She decides she needs to care for her own needs when she washes up on shore 

    • Duke Orsino

        ○ Obsessive 

            § We can see this in the first scene where is obsessing over someone he doesn't really know

        ○ Materialistic

            § He loves Olivia for her looks not her personality 

                □ We can see this because he doesn't really know her because she is so shut off from the world 

    • Lady Olivia

        ○ Melodramatic

            § She over sensationalized her brothers death and was not going to reveal her face for seven years.

        ○ Her emotions cannot be seen to be pure

            § She changes from mourning to loving someone in a flash

    • Feste

        ○ Very clever 

            § He persuades Olivia to keep him as the clown with his wit.

        ○ Cheerful

    • Toby

        ○ Drunken

        ○ Foolish

    • Andrew

        ○ Drunk

        ○ Foolish

        ○ Not very clever

    • Maria

    • Malvolio

        ○ Vibe killer

        ○ Cold

Literature Paragraph


Love as a cause of suffering

Throughout the entire of the play we can see that many people have been caused suffering due to their affections to someone. Even at the beginning of the play Orsino depicts love as an appetite which he cannot fulfil and even Olivia says that love is a plague which she is suffering from. From both of these we can see that they contain elements of violence and they are love-struck victims which cannot fulfil the need that they want. Throughout the play we see many more acts of desperation to get the love that they desire. From Orsino’s hopeless love letters to Olivia and Olivia sending Malvolio with the ring at the beginning of the play, The Twelfth Night is filled with more love in the form of pain, than love in the form of happiness. There is even a threat of death from Orsino to Cesario when Orsino thinks that Cesario has stolen his love. From the paragraph above we can see that throughout the play there is a theme of suffering love.




Individual Character highlighT - Mind map



Individual scene summary - mind map