Twelfth Night, or What You Will by William Shakespeare presents an interesting take on the concept of human identity. Viola's(Cesario) identity change is fueled by her desire to cope with her ever changing surroundings and to blend with her new location. Duke Orsino fights with identity in regards to his emotional instability and differentiating views on what true love means. Through the Zen Meditation, we are encouraged to look deeply in ourselves to support the concept of our own identity. Being comfortable with who we are can further support us in our journey through life.
When Viola is rescued from the shipwreck that separates her from her brother, she decides that she would be proactive rather than mourn the suspected death of her brother. She decides that it is necessary to change her identity and call herself Cesario because she did not want to be Viola. By doing this she sees things from a point of view that was not possible before. She is on the inside with the Duke. She becomes closer and closer with him, slowly falling for him while he falls more in love with the distant Olivia. While the correspondence between Olivia and the Duke only makes Olivia fall for Cesario. This complicated love triangle ultimately leads to chaos in Illyria. Viola can not truly find herself until her brother Sebastian comes to Illyria. That return of her brother ultimately gave her the ability to confess to the Duke and admit her love, ultimately accepting her identity as Viola.
The Duke's struggle with identity is clearly seen from the beginning of Act One. He is unsure about his love for Olivia, stating that he seeks her love as his only desire. He then changes his mind believing that he does not love her. He is obsessed with the fact that she is the most beautiful girl in the kingdom of Illyria and he cannot see past that. When Olivia admits that she will need time to mourn for her brother the Duke seems to just move on. The Duke clearly struggles with his emotions.
Through the practice of Zen Meditation we are encouraged to look into ourselves to discover our true self identity. In the meditation process I ponder different things about life and what has gotten me to this point. I think about what I would like to accomplish, and where I would like tot be at the climax of my college education. Thinking about things like these I believe is the first step to finding out who you truly are, and what your true identity is.
This year in understanding literature the thing I found most interesting was the events learning process. Never before have I been able to take a class that encourages attendance at different school sponsored events that proved to be extremely interesting. The various lectures, readings, and speeches provided by the University have proved to be very entertaining and educational. I have gotten much out of these events and they have improved my college experience that much more.