November 22, 2013
Everything Is Not What It Seems
In William Shakespeare’s play, “Twelfth Night or, What You Will” there are many themes that can be seem throughout. One of the many themes that are established in the play is the theme of confused identities. The idea of confused identities causes much confusion and leads into madness and total chaos. There are many factors that go into changing a person’s identity. One of the main aspects that may add to one’s change in identity is their appearance and type of clothing. A change of identity and playing tricks on others with the use of identity is able to cause much confusion that will eventually lead to insanity. “Twelfth Night or, What You Will” can relate to Zen Meditation, since one meditates and reflects on themselves and others around them.
In Acts III to Acts V, it is very clear that Olivia is madly in love with Cesario, not knowing that “he” is actually Viola pretending to be a man. Viola, on the other hand, has fallen in love with Orsino, but is not able to tell him, due to the fact that she has changed her identity as being Cesario. Although Oliva has not fallen in love with Orsino, she has seemed to stop mourning about her brother, with the help of “Cesario.” Orsino, Olivia and “Cesario” or Viola are alike in a sense, since they have all fallen in love with someone who rejects them, but they still want to make sure the significant other does not love them. Orsino, later on, discovers that Cesario is actually Viola, and questions if he really fell in love with Viola or with “masculinity” when she was dressed as a man. Also, Olivia marries Sebastian, mistaking him for “Cesario.” Sebastian becomes confused, but finds it fascinating people “know” him. This is another scene of mistaken identity, and causes Sebastian to question what is real or a possible dream.
In the end, Viola and Sebastian find one another and after many questions, believe to have finally found their “lost” sibling, who was thought to be dead. Orsino, Viola, Sebastian and Olivia have seemed to accept the reality of what has happened and continued with their lives together. After all the mistaken identities have been restored, Orsino agrees to have a double wedding, marrying Viola, while Sebastian marries Olivia. It seems that in the end, they do not truly know what love is, since they all Orsino married Viola and Sebastian married Olivia, possibly based on their appearance or thought of appearance before.
Shakespeare’s play “Twelfth Night or, What You Will” can relate to Zen Meditation with the clear theme of mistaken or confused identities. During meditation, one is able to clear their mind, and they are able to establish one’s true identity and observe our own thoughts. While meditation we can search for our true meaning and reflect on our personal lives. In the play, the characters were not truly able to understand the chaos that was happening, but meditation helps find who you are as a person and in the world.
As Christmas Break becomes closer and there are only a few weeks before the semester is over, I have learned so many useful things that I will be able to take with be throughout my four years at Loyola. I surprised to learn that although many poems and stories may discuss many different topics, there is a possibility that all of them can be connected with a few central ideas or thoughts. I was also surprised at how different Zen Meditation was from anything I have attended in the past, although it was very relaxing. Meditation truly made reflect on my life here at Loyola, as well as helping me distress from all things that may happen during the weeks leading up to the next Monday for another meditation session.