The Aspects of Love in Twelfth Night
The main theme in Twelfth Night is love. It is announced at the
beginning of the play ‘If music be the food of love play on’ and from
this you know that love will be a main aspect in Twelfth Night.
In Elizabethan time ‘love’ as we know it today was very different. You
could not love anyone outside of your social status, marriages were
almost always arranged on how the social status could improve the
current standing of one partner i.e. one partner had lots of money,
land or influence.
In Twelfth Night there are many different kinds of love to list a few,
filial love, unrequited love, Lust, Courtly Love, True Love,
Ambitious/Selfish love. There are many good examples of all these
types of love throughout the play.
There are seven different characters that share a filial bond of love.
Sebastian and Viola they are twin brother and sister and have never
really been apart. There very strong bond is shown when Viola thinks
she has lost her brother she displays a lot of grief and remorse for
her ‘dead’ brother “O my poor brother!” Another two characters that
display Filial Love is Sebastian and Antonio “If you will not murder
me for my love, let me be your servant.” Antonio and Sebastian fought
in many wars together and have become very close friends. The other
two characters are Sir Toby Belch and Sir Andrew. Sir Toby wants Sir
Andrew to woo Olivia because this would secure his place in Olivia’s
household; Sir Toby is using his friendship and dumb wittedness of his
friend to bend him to do his bidding. The final example of filial love
is the love Olivia has for her dead brother, she is so upset at his
death she goes into morning for seven years.
Unrequited love is displayed in a few characters, such as the obvious example of this Orsino and his love of Olivia. This is the set up of many situations, such as the meeting of Olivia and Viola in which Olivia falls very quickly in love with Cesario ‘even so quickly may one catch the plague’ this is an example of unrequited love, or the ‘melancholy lover’ a melancholy lover is a lover which suffers from his/her love. The other example of unrequited love is again because of mixed Identities, Viola the other ‘melancholy lover’ in the play, loves Orsino but Orsino cannot return that love because he thinks she is a man so never would think that she loves him, but she also cannot reveal her...