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Theme Of Love And Emotions In Twelfth Night

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In the play Twelfth Night, or What you will, written by William Shakespeare in (1601), the main theme of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night play is mainly about love. Shakespeare describes three types of emotions of love in his play which are; ture love, self love and friendship. Viola’s love for Osorio is the first example Shakespeares describes as a true love although she is pretending to be a man and is virtually unknown in Illyria, she hopes to win the Duke’s Osorio heart. In act 1, scene 4 at the very end,Shakespeare describes in detail how Viola lets out her true feelings for Osorio:

Viola. I’ll do my best

To woo your lady. Yet a barful strife!

Whoe’er I woo, myself would be his wife.

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(Shakespeare 1.4.40-42)

That statement becomes true when Viola reveals her true identity. Since Viola and Orsino had a very good friendship, making the switch to husband and wife was very easy for them without any difficulties. Another true love scenario Viola was caught up in was 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 still loved each other. They believed deep down that maybe some way or by some miracle that each of them was still alive and well.

Shakespeare too addresses the issue of self love and how it influences peoples’ lives. Malvolio is the most effortless character to distinguish with the issue of self love. He sees himself as a good looking and respectable man. He accepts numerous ladies would adore being with him. He likes to see things one way as it were, and he hoodwinks himself fair to suit his viewpoint on the circumstance. For case, within the play he twists Olivia’s words around to create it sound like she respects his yellow cross-gartered leggings, when she truly loathes them. Both Sir Toby and Olivia appear signs of self cherish but it isn't as big an issue. Sir Toby cared almost for himself and no one else, not indeed his companions. He disregards Maria’s notices almost drinking into the night, and he proceeds to thrust Sir Andrew to court Olivia. In spite of the fact that he accepts Sir Andrew doesn’t have a chance. Olivia cares almost the individuals around her, but she moreover accepts that no man is commendable of her excellence. She considers she is “all that,” which no one can coordinate with her.

The third theme Shakespeare describes is friendship which is the last love expressed in “Twelfth Night.” The greatest and closest friendship would ought to be between Orsino and Cesario. They scarcely knew each other at to begin with, and some time recently long Orsino was telling Cesario his inward cherish for Olivia. He indeed had Cesario running his cherish messages to Olivia. The moment companionship between Viola and the Sea Captain was not specified a part, but they had a really profound bond between one another. They survived the wreck together and the Ocean Captain guaranteed to keep Viola’s idea about imagining to be a man a mystery. In case he had opened his mouth the complete play would have changed. The third companionship, and certainly the most unusual, is between Sir Toby and Sir Andrew Aguecheek. They are near companions but in some cases Sir Toby doesn’t appear. He sets Sir Andrew up, and likes to urge him into inconvenience. A case is inducing Sir Andrew to challenge Cesario to a double, indeed in spite of the fact that he isn't an incredible swordsman and is uninformed of Cesario’s capacity. OnOn the other hand, Sir Andrew appreciates Sir Toby’s company because he always lifts his spirits and makes him feel like a true knight.

Works Cited

  1. Shakespeare, William. “Twelfth Night, or What You Will.” The Norton Anthology of English Literature, edited by Stephen Greenblatt, et. Al. 10th edition, vol. A, Norton, 2018, pp.739-802.
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Theme Of Love And Emotions In Twelfth Night. (2022, Jun 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 1, 2024, from
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