Viola in "Twelfth Night" is one of Shakespeare's memorable characters, around whom much of the play pivots because she is a girl pretending to be a boy. Such a situation is rich for farce and tension and irony, as characters seek to achieve the impossible of being two different people at the same time.
Well after Shakespeare characters trying to present different
personae to different people remains a staple feature of dramas,
particularly comedies. Dramas need characters under stress,
characters with problems.
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