• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

An exploration of the different types of love in Shakespeare’s “Twelfth night”. What does Shakespeare convey about the nature and variety of love in this play?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

An exploration of the different types of love in Shakespeare's "Twelfth night". What does Shakespeare convey about the nature and variety of love in this play? Shakespeare explores a great variety of themes in this play, the main one being love and its many different natures. The aim of this essay is to examine the text to discover ways in which Shakespeare portrays love using characterisation and style. Orsino is the first character to speak in "Twelfth night"; his first words are "if music be the food of love play on". The main part of his speech describing his love for Olivia is consists of refined and eloquent language, which seems to be used to impress rather than to express his feelings, he also talks more of love its self than Olivia which makes you doubtful of his sincerity: "O spirit of love, how quick and fresh thou art" "Love thoughts lie rich when canopied with bowers" He also thinks himself to be "as all true lovers are" in that the love he feels for Olivia is so intense that it is painful: "And my desires like fell and cruel hounds, E'er since pursue ...read more.

Middle

It also appears as if she almost feels obliged to morn him in this way, to keep his memory fresh; "A brother's dead love, which she would keep fresh And lasting, in her sad remembrance." This suggests that the grief is in some way an act to attract respect and attention. The language used by Valentine to describe her, in that it is eloquent and ends in a rhyming couplet, echoes this. Viola is also shown as a true lover in her love for Orsino. She is willing to sacrifice her own happiness for his and attempts to woe Olivia for him. Any other character would have tried to sway Olivia against him for selfish reasons. "My lord and master love you. O such love Could be but recompensed, though you were crowned The nonpareil of beauty" The way in which she speaks to Olivia also reveals her true love, in that she describes how she would woe Olivia were she in Orsino's place. It expresses the way she feels about Orsino and proves her to be self-sacrificing because she will not tell him, and will try and win Olivia. ...read more.

Conclusion

He is depicted as similar to Orsino in that he is an unrequited lover with little chance of attaining his desire. His love seems even less genuine as there is very little mention of his feelings for Olivia or even of him seeking her love. Olivia then enters the play and mentions love almost immediately when declaring to Malvolio that he is "sick of self love". The self-love Olivia mentioned is shown as another kind of love and also as a means to insert comedy into the play. Because Malvolio is so proud he is gulled by Maria's trick and thus follows humorous circumstances. Olivia seems to be as inconstant a lover as Orsino in that she immediately comes out of mourning when Viola attempts to woo her. She also transfers her affections from Olivia to her brother without realising that they are not the same person. Antonio is similar to viola in his love for Sebastian. He is devoted to him and would do anything for him with out looking for recompense, for example he gives him his purse in case he wishes to buy a trinket or toy. In conclusion I feel that Shakespeare depicts the multiple natures of love very successfully through out the play and shows strong contrasts between them. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Twelfth Night section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Twelfth Night essays

  1. Cruelty in "Twelfth Night" - an examination of Shakespeare's comedy's darker side.

    The viewer needs this, as now people have to see a thing to believe it where as in Shakespeare's time many people believed in witches and other unknown supernatural things. This is a cruel scene in that they are separated so harshly after being together laughing and having fun on

  2. Twelfth Night is a feminist play. Discuss.

    Though playful, his insights are meaningful and actually sound logical and reasonable. This can be seen from how Feste says things like, "Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage; and for turning away, let summer bear it out." It goes to show that Shakespeare still leaves the space for

  1. Discuss the different types of love presented in Twelfth Night

    This clearly shows us that his love is actually infatuation for Olivia, as none's love gets strong within just a short period of time. "O sprit of love, how quick and fresh art thou," tells us that Orsino is saying that lovers are so hungry that for their lovers that

  2. Examine the ways in which Shakespeare uses structure and language to dramatise the comparisons ...

    no women's sides Can bide the beating of so strong a passion As love doth give my heart..." To an audience this would be ironic as they would know of Viola's love for the Duke and her true identity while he wouldn't be aware of the real situation or circumstances.

  1. How does Shakespeare explore the theme of deception and self-deception in Twelfth Night?

    But in light of this, his emotions are brought to the surface when he entertains people with his music. The realization that Feste has the most knowledge of love, or what real love is, begins to seep through as he sings.

  2. What part does deception of one kind or another play in Twelfth Night?

    His strong ambitions would remain a secret, and the sense of pity and respect we gain for Malvolio through his struggle to be deemed sane would also be non-existent. The comedy of the puritan's trials would also be lost. Sir Andrew's self-deception provides nothing but comedy.

  1. Discuss the ways in which Shakespeare explores the theme of love throughout 'Twelfth Night'.

    Orsino is convinced that he and Olivia are destined to be with each other and considers her to 'purge the air of pestilence.' This causes him much anguish. This love he feels for Olivia however isn't true love and instead Orsino is infatuated with the idea of love as opposed to actually being in love.

  2. The Dramatic Importance of Act 1 Scenes 1 and 2 referring to other parts ...

    is equating his emotions to the sea, in terms of its vastness. This is further emphasised in Act 2 scene 4 where Orsino describes his 'passion as hungry as the sea', where he thinks his love is so strong that it has no limit.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work