Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night”: Character Analysis on Public Speaking

Subject: Literature
Pages: 3
Words: 562
Reading time:
2 min
Study level: College


Public speaking involves speaking before a group of people. It is a structured process that has a deliberate intention of entertaining, influencing or informing the listeners. It is almost similar to presentation, normally done in business meetings. People involved in public speaking are leaders and highly influential people such as politicians, religious leaders, and entertainers. Public speaking has fundamental elements just like any other form of communication. These elements can either help or hinder the overall production of one’s presentation and they include: physical, vocal and spatial presentations. This paper is a response paper that discusses how the actors in the play Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare perform the act of public speaking. It focuses on 3 of the actors and evaluates these actors’ physical, vocal and spatial presentation.

Main body

Viola is very beautiful, strong and confident. As she begins the play, she seems not to know where she is. She is then is met with a stranger. She does not show any form of fear in her. She confidently asks the stranger the name of the place she found herself in and maintains a conversation with him. She has a little bit of weakness in her physical presentation. Most times she never maintains eye contact with her audience especially male listeners. But her vocal presentation is good, because she is quite audible. The other place where she shows confidence and good presentation skills is when she disguises herself as a man and changes her name to Cesario. She is also very jovial and happy when she speaks, and this is a good thing because people will enjoy listening to her (Griffin, 1996).

Orsino is the second character that this paper will analyse. He is the Duke of Illyria and he has fallen in love with Olivia, a countess. He is generally a good person, humorous and enjoys to bond with his subjects. He has a strong physical presentation, seen from his stage movements. He looks at people in the eyes when making his speech and also he is very audible to his listeners. He does not fear to express his feelings quite loudly to everyone around him. He even uses music to enhance his feeling of love to Olivia.

Lastly, Maria, who is a nice lady, she waits at Olivia’s house and she has strong feelings of love to Sir Toby Belch. She too displays strong stage presence, where her voice is very audible. She moves a lot on the stage and she even makes contact, both physical and eye, wit her audience. She expresses perfectly her feelings for Sir Toby without fear. She is very jovial and humorous too.


We see that overall production of the play as good because of the confidences and wonderful stage presentation of these characters. When these elements of public speaking are not displayed well in a presentation then, then the person giving the speech will not win the ears of the audience. The audience’s concentration needs to be sustained at all times. To assist in enhancing the skill of public speaking, one needs to undergo training. Training is good because it enable one to get familiar with the stage and hence builds the necessary confidence required to make a good public speaker. It is hard for one to run away from this form of communication for it is applied almost everywhere.

Work Cited

Griffin, Alice. The Sources of Ten Shakespearean Plays (First ed.). New York: T.Y. Crowell, 1996.