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Faults Of Love In Twelfth Night

2389 words - 10 pages

Faults of Love in Twelfth Night

Human emotion is a very fickle and ever changing thing that can range from fury to jubilance to depression depending on the situation the person is in at any point in time. These ever changing emotions shape the person and their identity both psychologically and physically. A person who generally resides in a more hostile environment would be more prone to having negative emotions, sometimes even in calm or benign situations. Vice versa, someone who generally resides in a benign or joyful environment can have a calmer or more positive reaction towards a hostile situation. These traits, coming from average emotions, eventually show on the person physically. Laugh or smile lines appear on people who show positive emotions; while anger lines can show on people who experience more negative emotions. People also dress according to their mood. On a more cheerful day, a person might dress in brighter, more aesthetically pleasing colors. On a negative day, a person might dress in darker, less aesthetically pleasing colors. Eventually, emotions shape the identity of the person experiencing said emotions.

Situation also has a profound effect on identity as adaptations must be made to survive in life. As stated by William Hazlitt, “There is a certain stage of society in which people become conscious of their peculiarities and absurdities, affect to disguise what they are, and set up pretensions to what they are not” (Hazlitt, 1817), meaning that sometimes people change themselves to fit in and survive better. In Twelfth Night or What You Will, Viola "attires herself in the disguise of a page, as the best protection against uncivil comments, till she can gain some tidings of her brother" (O'Connor). In order to gain the disguise of a page, Viola calls herself a man named Cessario and joins the court of Duke Orsino. This action causes confusion as Duke Orsino's love interest, Olivia, develops romantic attractions to Cesario, and Duke Orsino becomes attracted to Cesario in a way that can almost be described as homoromantic. Until the end of the play, neither Olivia nor Orsino realize Cesario is a fake persona of a woman named Viola. The arrival of the previously thought to be dead Sebastian, Viola's almost identical twin brother, also adds to the confusion. The personalities of these characters, especially the arrogance and self centered tendencies of some, and the emotions they convey also add to the uncertainty of the play. The faults of love in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night come from the arrogance as well as other character traits and the uncertainty of the identities and true selves of the characters conveyed with symbolism in actions and items scattered throughout the play.

As with all well-written characters, the cast of Twelfth Night shows many flaws and commit faults in the name of love throughout the course of the play. Some of these faults come from ignorance or unawareness of certain factors due to false...

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