Characteristics of Orsino in Shakespeare's Twelfth Knight

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  • Topic: Love, Plays, Can't Help Falling in Love
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  • Published : April 27, 2010
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Characteristics of Orsino in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Knight

Love is desirable, everyone is in search of it, but some take it too far. Some let it control you, and reveal characteristics that ought not to be revealed. Orsino, in the twelfth knight for example let’s love control him revealing aspects of his personality that reveal is obsession with love. Some Notable Characteristics of the Duke of Illyria are his moodiness, selfishness and how he is a fool for love. Orsino is a gentleman who is in search of love, and while eagerly searching; his moodiness and foolishness is revealed. Struggling to find love, Orsino’s temperamental moodiness is revealed. His moodiness is revealed early in the play when Orsino interrupts his own musicians while they are playing to satisfy his needs. Orsino has musicians playing around him in hopes that it will distract his thoughts from how bad he wants to find love. Orsino says, “Enough; no more: ‘Tis not so sweet now as it was before.” (Act I, Scene I) This reveals Orsino’s moodiness because the musicians were only trying to cheer him up, and Orsino deliberately and rudely interrupts them because the music was doing no good in hopes of cheering up his lonely heart. Also, later in the play Feste even points out Orsino’s moodiness. Feste compares Orsino's erratic moods to a gemstone when he says the Duke's "mind is very opal." (Scene II, act IV) An opal is a gemstone that shimmers and shifts in colors. Although, this is not meant to be a compliment by Feste, Feste is rather implying that Orsino is temperamental and unstable, like an opal constantly shifting in colors. Although, for Orsino, unlike an opal constantly shifting in colors, what shifts constantly is his moods. Orsino is a man who is more fixated with the fantasy of love than the reality of love, which portrays his selfishness in just wanting to fulfill his own desires. Orsino seems to be a man who is in love with the idea of being in love. The play...
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