Why is viola the best character?

Answered by Jason Smith

Viola, in William Shakespeare’s play “Twelfth Night,” is undeniably one of the best characters, and there are several reasons why she stands out among the rest.

First and foremost, Viola possesses a unique blend of wit, charm, and intelligence. From the moment she arrives in Illyria, disguised as a man named Cesario, she displays quick thinking and resourcefulness. Her decision to disguise herself is not only a result of her desire for self-preservation but also a demonstration of her adaptability and courage. Viola’s ability to navigate the unfamiliar territory of Illyria, while maintaining her composure and wit, showcases her exceptional character.

Furthermore, Viola’s loyalty is unwavering. Despite the challenges she faces, including her unrequited love for Duke Orsino, she remains committed to serving him faithfully. She willingly puts her own desires aside and dedicates herself to assisting Orsino in his pursuit of Lady Olivia. Viola’s loyalty to Orsino is not only admirable but also serves as a testament to her selflessness and integrity.

Moreover, Viola’s musical and conversational skills are noteworthy. Throughout the play, she captivates both the sea captain and Duke Orsino with her ability to engage in meaningful conversations and her talent for music. Her charm and charisma are evident as she effortlessly wins over the hearts of those around her. Viola’s skills in these areas not only add depth to her character but also highlight her versatility and ability to adapt to various situations.

Additionally, Viola’s success in maintaining her disguise for an extended period is a testament to her intelligence and quick thinking. It is her ability to think on her feet and improvise that allows her to navigate the challenges of her double identity. This cleverness and resourcefulness make her a compelling and fascinating character.

Lastly, Viola’s experiences and journey throughout the play provide valuable insights into themes such as love, identity, and gender roles. Her position as both a man and a woman in the play allows for a unique exploration of these themes, challenging societal norms and expectations. Viola’s ability to navigate these complex issues with grace and understanding further solidifies her as a standout character.

Viola’s wit, charm, loyalty, musical and conversational skills, intelligence, and her ability to navigate the challenges of her disguise make her the best character in “Twelfth Night.” Her multifaceted personality, coupled with her journey and exploration of important themes, contribute to her enduring appeal and make her a character that resonates with audiences even today.