Give and example of foreshadowing in Twelfth Night and explain its significance.  

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kwoo1213 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Foreshadowing involves being given a hint of things to come in a piece of literature.  Foreshadowing is normally subtle and sometimes can be hard to spot.

In Twelfth Night, a comedy from William Shakespeare, an example of foreshadowing is when Viola decides to dress as a man to work for the Duke (Orsino).  She is going to deliberately disguise herself as a man so that she can work as a page to Orsino to try to help him win the heart of Olivia.  However, this backfires because Viola ends up falling in love with the Duke herself.

The foreshadowing, then, is the confusion and utter chaos that results from her deciding to be a man for a short time.  Just like the gender confusion, there is much confusion later in the play because Viola is later mistaken for her twin brother, Sebastian. Olivia, the Duke, Sebastian, and various other characters are utterly befuddled by this trickery.

stick14 | Student

what act and scene is this?