Shakespeare’s View on Love
Shakespeare’s plays are very drastic with how he ties love into them. Shakespeare always adds comedy or tragedy to any romance that might be taking place. For example in Twelfth Night, As You like It and Romeo and Juliet there is romance but he also puts comedy in there so love is not that easy. In the play Othello he makes it into a tragedy which makes the love even harder to take place. Shakespeare has always found a way to make love as complicated as he can which leads me to believe that he feels that you must work for love and it should not be handed to you. Love is already complicated, but when Shakespeare is involved he makes sure at least two things come around that can make it harder for those who are in love to actually stay in love. Twelfth Night is a romantic comedy which leads to romantic love being the main focus of the play. In this play, Shakespeare shows that love can cause pain. He does this by causing a love triangle which includes; •
Viola likes Duke but
Duke likes Olivia and
Olivia like Cesario who is actually Viola disguised as her twin brother.
Because of this confusing love triangle, some of the characters seem to view love as a curse. They also claim to suffer painfully from being in love or from the “pangs” of unrequited love. In Act 1 scene 5, Olivia describes love as a “plague” from which she suffers terribly. In Act 1 scene 1, Orsino depicts love dolefully as an “appetite” that he wants to satisfy and cannot. Another example of the characters not “liking” love is in Act 2 scene 2 when Viola says “My state is desperate for my master’s love.” This quote relates to the violence in Act 5 scene 1 when Orsino threatens to kill Cesario because he thinks Cesario is Olivia’s lover. Throughout the entire beginning of the play Shakespeare has a few of the main characters all look negatively at love. But by the end of the play, they all find out the truth about each other and all fall in love with who they are actually meant to be with. The only two who do not get to rejoice with love are Malvolio and Antonio. Malvolio who loved Olivia now comes to the realization that he is only a fool. Antonio has a larger problem on his hands. The social norms do not allow for his sexual attraction to Sebastian, so he never finds his loved one. Love plays a major role in Twelfth Night, and Shakespeare addresses true love, self love and friendship in a very compelling way. Love is great to read about because everyone deserves a little love. Twelfth Night is the true definition of love, and Shakespeare does a great job of explaining a somewhat difficult topic. As You Like It imitates literature that has dealt with love. There has been such an idea given that love is a disease that beings suffering and torment of the lover, or the assumption that the male lover is the slave or servant of his mistress. These ideas were looked at and influenced by European literature. As You Like It generally breaks with the courtly love tradition by portraying love as a force for happiness and fulfillment. It also ridicules those who revel in their own suffering. Celia and Rosalind talk about love quite frequently especially in the introductory scene. In this scene Celia speaks to the curative powers of love with Rosalind. While in the forest they both pretend to be other people like what is done in Twelfth Night. Rosalind disguises herself as Ganymede and teaches Orlando how to be a more caring lover. Rosalind also coaches Silvius against procrastinating himself for the sake of Phoebe while she also scolds Phoebe for her arrogance in being the shepherd’s disdainful love object. In Act 4 scene 1 Rosalind says “men have died from time to time, and worms have eaten them, but not for love,” she is arguing the fact that love concerns the perfect. Though it may seem this way Rosalind does not mean to talk poorly about love. While disguised in the forest, she seeks to...
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