How is Viola smart in Twelfth Night?

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Viola, the protagonist of Twelfth Night, can rightly be considered very smart. She is a quick thinker who realizes that she must take unconventional actions upon being shipwrecked in Illyria. She realizes that the only way for her to be safe is to assume the role of a man. As a man, she is able to bravely and successfully face her otherwise dire circumstances head-on.

In her new identity as Cesario, Viola is able to use her wits to avoid discovery and play other characters to her advantage. Things start to get a little out of control when Olivia turns her romantic interests towards Viola. Viola also seems to abandon her otherwise rational thinking when she, in turn, falls for Orsino. The duke seems to be an odd choice for such an intelligent person like Olivia. He is self-absorbed, dour, and ill-tempered at times. This all adds to the play's recurring theme highlighting the irrationality of love. However, in the end, Viola is able to manipulate the situation so that she ends up marrying...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 898 words.)

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