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27 March 2016 @ 12:37 am
things I have unnecessarily strong feelings about  
How much I find Viola/Olivia really uncomfortable. Specifically, I always dislike it when productions have Olivia kiss Viola at the end of the play, and suddenly Viola is into it. (This happened in the first production of Twelfth Night I ever saw, actually.) I mean, I know it's all about gender fluidity and everything, but Viola has spent the entire play basically running from Olivia and being made miserable by her, trying to keep Olivia at arm's length, being forced to come back to Olivia's house when there's nothing she wants less, because Olivia keeps saying, "oh, but maybe next time you'll be able to convince me to love Orsino!"

Don't get me wrong; I love Olivia a lot, and I feel terrible for her as well (I also have strong feelings about the way too many productions turn her into a desperate joke, having her practically maul poor Cesario because it's "funny" and making her shriek "Most wonderful!" at the end of the play because sex jokes trump miraculous reunions, I guess). I just don't see how Viola's clear anger and frustration with Olivia are just supposed to convert magically to attraction simply because Viola's no longer in disguise. It's not at all unimaginable to me that Olivia might still have feelings for Viola at the end of the play, but all the "NOW KISS!" in the world can't reconcile me to the reverse when there's been nothing to prepare the ground for it. I suppose it's possible that someday I might see a production of this play where the actors make me believe that Viola has had feelings for Olivia all along (somehow, in spite of lines like "'tis a vulgar proof / That very oft we pity enemies"), but I have yet to see one.

This has been another episode of Unnecessary Opinions Corner.