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Views On Love In William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night

3934 words - 16 pages

Views on Love in William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night was written in the …… century, by the renowned author,
William Shakespeare as one of his comedic plays. It is now one of his
most famous works and has been made into several films. The story
explores the ups and downs of love and relationships, covering
everything from intimate ones, to sexual ones, to friendly ones.

In Act 1, Scene 1, the Duke Orsino, who is infatuated with Lady
Olivia, and will later become involved in a love triangle with her and
Viola (Cesario) is in a his palace mourning his love for Olivia.
Shakespeare makes sure to use plenty of metaphors and similes and
word-play with complicated sentences and words, to show us that Orsino
is of a higher class and is able to use proper English fluently. The
very first words out of Orsino's mouth are, "If music be the food of
love", which is a metaphor, describing love, namely his love for
Olivia, as a living thing which needs to be fed in order to survive,
which all know isn’t true. It also makes us immediately doubt that
this is real love because real love doesn't have to be like encourage
or helped to grow or be there of whatever, it just is, unconditional,
with no real explanation. And he shouldn’t need music or anything else
to 'feed' his love, and wouldn’t if it was real. "O, it came o'er my
ear like the sweet sound That breathes upon a bank of violets" is
another one of Orsino's similes, and compares the music to wind
blowing over flowers. It again shows that he can use similes, as a
form of higher class language clearly demonstrating his class, just as
the iambic pentameter in his speech does. Orsino talks directly to the
"spirit of love!" which shows how incredibly desperate he must be, or
he feels he is, to make up something so ridiculous and actually talk
to it as if it's real. "Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there,".
Orsino compares his love to the sea, and says that it's much bigger
than a anything else could possibly be and like the sea, when u drop
something into it, it just disappears, just as he sees his love for
Olivia is, nothing will make a difference to it. The hyperbole he uses
in his speech could be Shakespeare's way of showing us how sure and
full of himself Orsino is, exuding arrogance in something like love,
which is supposed to be very modest. Orsino uses clever word play with
Curio around the word "hart", once again showing his status, but also
showing us that he turns every hypothetical solution to his situation
into something about him and his misery. Orsino idealizes Olivia. "O,
when mine eyes did see Olivia first, Methought she purged the air of
pestilence". He describes her as if she is perfect, so perfect in fact
that she can purify the air just by being there, and that makes us
wonder if he is really interested in her...

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