Twelfth Night: Theme of Love

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Twelfth Night: Theme of Love

In the play "Twelfth Night," Shakespeare explores and illustrates the emotion of love with precise detail. According to "Webster's New World Dictionary," love is defined as "a strong affection or liking for someone." Throughout the play Shakespeare examines three different types of love: true love, self love and friendship.

"Twelfth Night" consists of many love triangles, however many of the characters who are tangled up in the web of love are blind to see that their emotions and feelings toward other characters are untrue. They are being deceived by themselves and/or the others around them. There are certain instances in the play where the emotion of love is true, and the two people involved feel very strongly toward one another. Viola's love for Orsino is a great example of true love. Although she is pretending to be a man and is virtually unknown in Illyria, she hopes to win the Duke's heart. In act 1, scene 4, Viola let's out her true feelings for Cesario, "yet a barful strife! Whoe'er I woo, myself would be his wife (1)." That statement becomes true when Viola reveals her true identity. Viola and Orsino had a very good friendship, and making the switch to husband and wife was easy. Viola was caught up in another true love scenario, only this time she was on the receiving end, and things didn't work out so smoothly. During her attempts to court Olivia for Orsino, Olivia grew to love Cesario. Viola was now caught in a terrible situation and there was only one way out, but that would jeopardize her chances with Orsino. It's amazing that Olivia could fall for a woman dressed as a man, but because Viola knew what women like to hear, her words won Olivia's heart. The next case of true love is on a less intimate and romantic scale, and more family oriented. Viola and Sebastian's love for one another is a bond felt by all siblings. Through their times of sorrow and mourning for each of their apparent deaths they...
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