12th Night Love Essay

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  • Topic: Love, Romance, Unrequited love
  • Pages : 5 (2194 words )
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  • Published : January 12, 2006
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Twelfth Night Essay.

Title: Explore the different types of loves represented in Twelfth Night.

If you ever wanted to investigate the different kinds of love there may be in existence, and try to define and understand how different love can be represented, then twelfth seems to be the ultimate play. It was written in 1623 by William Shakespeare, the characters of twelfth night display various sorts of characteristics and personalities which are the essential ingredients that add to the play to show the different ways love can be represented. This is shown through the way they inter - act with the other characters. They each portray different levels of social importance and value in what would have been Shakespeare's time. The different varieties of love which I intend to discuss during this essay will include: Unrequited love, courtship, false love, family love, friendship, wasted love, and above all true love. These relationships can be described in great depth, through the character expression, their personality, language, structure and the role they play in Twelfth Night.

In this Essay, I intend to understand, explain and distinguish the different sorts of love from the other, and hope to discover whether love overall is indeed what makes the world go round. I'd like to come to some sort of conclusion by using examples of the characters and explain each different situation between them that is love related.

Our first opportunity to investigate what sort of love is to begin in the play meets us in Act 1, scene 1. Orsino, a dreary, romantic and boring bachelor, who seeks Olivia, speaks these opening lines to the play; "If music be the food of love play on…" His words are written in poetry and are in rich meaning. The first line is important to the theme of the play. It is a blank verse structure. It gives the audience a good grasp and a fixture to Orsino's character and his need for love. It also gives us a good beginning to the play, as it introduces its main theme – love. The themes of love, however are rushed, unbuilt and within this first speech, Orsino also goes onto say, "O spirit of love, how quick and fresh art thou". This is Shakespeare's way of maybe hinting that the love he would wanted to have shown and betrayed to his audiences, was of a very fast paced and non realistic pace rather than how actual people fall into true love.

The relationship between Orsino and Olivia is quite distant, and the audience doesn't actually see both of them together until the final act of the play to be apparent. Olivia is a lost, and deeply upset, grieving woman, who won't let go of the fact she had lost her brother 7 years ago. She has locked herself away and desocialized herself from society for so long, that she no longer feels the need to give love to a stranger anymore, but to carry on loving her brother. This is a love in itself, as it demonstrates how much Olivia cared for him and how much love she could give just to 1 person alone. Maybe this is why Orsino courts her, so he can get loved and drain Olivia at the same time. But does this mean that he means to court her for real purposes? Or is he just selfishly seeking someone for his own benefit? In a sense, he is longing for Olivia, but as Olivia is so tied up in her own issues, she cannot love him back. Therefore this type of love is unrequited between Orsino and Olivia. It is not solid or based on memory; time spent with one another, but purely through the fact they have a long distant knowledge of each other's existence. Which doesn't mean anything. However, Orsino Pursues his love for Olivia and is very much so determined to go after her, despite the unrequited love he will receive.

During the play, the unrequited love' has quite a frequent occurrence between some of the characters. We see from Orsino's later admirer, just how this particular character manages to deal with it. Her name is Viola. She becomes shipwrecked on the...
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