In what ways is Viola wise?How does Viola show that she is wiser than the other characters in the twelfth night?

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appletrees eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Viola's wisdom is perhaps most clearly shown when she makes the most of her dire situation at the beginning of the play; shipwrecked and without a social support system, she chooses a path that will help her get back on her feet: she dresses like a man and goes to work for the Duke. She is asked to woo the lady Olivia on the Duke's behalf, but ironically falls in love with him herself, while Olivia falls in love with Viola who is dressed as the boy Cesario. Viola's wisdom is shown in contrast to the comparative shallowness and cruelty of other characters, namely Maria, who decides to make a fool of Malvolio by convincing him, by way of a forged letter, that Olivia is in love with him.