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The Shakespeare Tarot - Viola

Queen of Staffs - Viola

Dramatis Personae: Viola.

Text & Context: Part maid, part minx, part magician's assistant sawed in half, Viola straddles worlds. A character of sadness in a festival comedy, finely tuned yet full of pluck. Go-between, she is the play's fixed pole. Orphaned in a strange land, she gives birth to herself as Caesario.


 Both at sea having just lost family, she is olive branch to Olivia. Instrumental as the Duke's surrogate beau, she sounds the heart-strings of the Countess, fiddling with the numbers along the way. What with Olivia's glooming, Orsino's mooning, Malvolio's dearth, and Toby's excesses, Viola provides Illyria - half Elysium, half delirium -sorely needed proportion. She is its yard stick.


Intertext: Staffs 4 Orsino; Crowns 2 Feste; Crowns 4 Malvolio; Cups 5 Olivia

Cups 9 Sir Toby Belch.

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