Twelfth Night: An Insightful and Entertaining Play

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William Shakespeare’s play ‘Twelfth Night’ is an insightful and entertaining play, which employs the use of comedy to both captivate and engage its audience. Shakespeare ingeniously explores an abundant variety of themes throughout the play, which are complimented with the use of both dramatic and language techniques. The two themes that I have chosen to examine are love and deception. Both are primary themes within the play, where the complexities of each allows for dramatic and language techniques to shine through.

Unrequited love occurs between many people within ‘Twelfth Night’, however one of the most controversial instances is the love that Lady Olivia cannot deny for Viola/Cesario. On page 132, we witness Olivia express her almost limitless love for Cesario, ‘…I love thee so, that, maugre thy pride, Nor wit nor reason can my passion hide.’ However, Viola’s reply confirms Olivia’s love is truly unrequited, ‘I have one heart…And that no woman has, nor never none.’ These quotes reflect that evidently, whilst Olivia has fallen unconditionally in love with who she thinks is Cesario, Viola will never love Olivia for she pines for Orsino to who she has dedicated her whole heart.

Unrequited love exists between many people within ‘Twelfth Night’, however one of the most controversial instances is the love, which Lady Olivia has poured onto Cesario/Viola. On page 64 we witness Malvolio attempting to give a ring from Olivia to Viola as a sign of love and passion, in the hope that she will return. Viola however, throws the ring to the floor, signifying that this token of love and deep affection is nothing but dirt to her, as not only is she a woman but she also pines for the beloved Orsino. Unrequited love however, is but one of the copious forms of love surveyed in ‘Twelfth Night.’

Within ‘Twelfth Night’ we witness Orsino, on countless occasions, speaking of how his love for Lady Olivia has completely possessed his mind. Orsino perpetually speaks in poetic...
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