Olivia is a quite emotional heroine. She could be called a female incarnation of Count Orsino. After her brother’s death, she promises to renounce all earthly things and go to the monastery for seven years. If Viola enchants with her cheerfulness, then Olivia strikes her melancholy. This explains a sympathy that she senses towards Cesario as her opposites. This woman has a practical mind, which is brilliantly manifested in solving domestic problems. Not possessing wit, however, she is able to properly assess it. Olivia shows real aggression in the struggle for the Count’s love. Even his frequent refusals cannot break her feelings. But her nature is very fickle. Learning that she married Viola’s brother, Olivia easily falls in love with him, leaving behind Orsino.

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Olivia in the Essays