Twelfth Night Essay

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Characters and events are important factors in plays as their interactions throughout the plot develop the central ideas or themes that the author wishes to communicate to the audience. Some common themes are investigations into common human experiences that may involve complex moral issues or questions the integrity of relationships. A play which uses characters and events to explore such important themes is Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare. The dominant themes Shakespeare introduces in Twelfth Night are love and deception. Love and deception are critical in that they embody the values for humans in today's society since love comforts humans and bring them together while deception is the betrayal of truth and honesty which causes separation and anguish. Shakespeare uses these themes in order to demonstrate a rich variety of relationships.

Shakespeare presents love throughout the play to provide the audience with his perspective on love as it exists in human society including self-love, selfless love and true love. Shakespeare illustrates the different aspects of love throughout the play by the language used including soliloquies, metaphors, motifs and symbols. Self-love is one's self indulgence disguised as love in order to fulfill or satisfy one's egotism. In Twelfth Night, self-love is represented by the characters of Olivia, Orsino and Malvolio. Olivia embodies self-love which is clearly depicted in the scene where she mourns for her dead brother and she locks herself in her own world, refusing to speak to any guests until Viola comes along to deliver Orsino's message of love. After delivering her message, Olivia approaches Viola by sending her a diamond ring (Act I Scene V). This indicates the Olivia was indulging herself in the thought of love for her brother since she completely forgets about him at the first appearance of Viola disguised as Cesario. Also, in this scene, two motifs are shown in delivering messages - Viola and the diamond ring. They...
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