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Discuss the different types of love presented in Twelfth Night

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Discuss the different types of love presented in the play. True love is sincere based on actions and sacrificial services to make the other happy. It is always quiet and in disguise. Its based on inner qualities and driven by reason, principles of trust and commitment. True love is centered on pleasing the other and is more permanent; growing stronger as time passes. Infatuation on the other hand, is insincere and driven by emotions. It's superficial; based on just words and displays of affection. Infatuation is also self-centered; based on external appearances. It expects the other to meet your needs. Moreover, it's temporary. It's just a phase that one goes through. William Shakespeare shows us these two types of love outlining the entire play. However, there are more than just these types of love being presented in the play. There is also friendship and self-love, which are two other kinds of love, which is presented in the play. Sir Andrew and Malvolio show self-love in the play. Friendship is also another kind of love that is being presented in the play by Orsino and 'Caesario'. Almost every type of love is being expressed in this play. Sibling relationships, genuine love, self-love leading to complete blind love. The characters also seem to go to extremes to get want they want which is the love that they desire. From this we can sometimes even associate love with their madness to get what they want. In the play, Twelfth Night, we can see that Orsino's romantic infatuation for Olivia leads to sentimental his own self-absorption. We can see this by the quote, " If music be the food of love, play on, /Give me excess of it, that surfeiting, /he appetite may sicken and so die.". Here Orsino is relating music to love. Too much or excess music, meaning over-indulgence in music is actually being compared with overeating food. ...read more.


Both of which, he is not at all. So from all this we can see the fact that he has self-love. In Antonio, the play demonstrates the generous and selfless nature of the love inspired by true friendship. We can see this from the quote, "If you will not murder me for my love, let me be your servant. From this quote, we can see Antonio showing very passionate love for Sebastian. We can also see him being sacrificial, as he wants to serve Sebastian by being his servant. "let me be you servant" suggests that Antonio wants to follow Sebastian, wants to protect him and wants to be with him. From all this we can see his selfless nature of love that is inspired by true friendship as he puts Sebastian before himself. From the quote, we can also tell his sincerity and generosity that he has by being sincere to Sebastian and also truly being generous by laying out his own self to be Sebastian's servant. Also in Sebastian and Viola we can see the intimate and intense love between brother and sister. The first thing Viola says when she steps into lllyria is that, "My brother, he is in Elysium". From this we can tell that what she said is being said sincerely as the focus is on her brother and not on herself. We can also see that from the fact that the statement said that it was a short, simple and direct statement. From that quote, we can see Viola displaying love for Sebastian by worrying for him thinking that he is dead. From this we can see the intense and intimate love between her and her brother, Sebastian. Sebastian on the other hand also displays the same affection that Viola displays for him without he himself knowing it as they have been separated at sea. Sebastian while talking to Antonio about Viola says, "She is drowned already, sir, with salt water, though I seem to drown her remembrance again with more". ...read more.


Many of the characters seem to view love as a kind of curse, a feeling that attacks its victims suddenly and disruptively. Various characters claim to suffer painfully from being in love, or, rather, from the pangs of unrequited love. At one point, Orsino depicts love dolefully as an "appetite" that he wants to satisfy and cannot; at another point, he calls his desires "fell and cruel hounds". Olivia more bluntly describes love as a "plague" from which she suffers terribly. These metaphors contain an element of violence, further painting the love-struck as victims of some random force in the universe. Even the less melodramatic Viola sighs unhappily "My state is desperate for my master's love". This desperation has the potential to result in violence-as in Act five Scene one, when Orsino threatens to kill 'Cesario' because he thinks that 'Cesario' has forsaken him to become Olivia's lover. So from this we can see that "Twelfth Night" is also a romantic comedy which is yet another theme of love that is being presented in the play. Love is also exclusionary in this play as some people achieve romantic happiness, while others do not. At the end of the play, as the happy lovers rejoice, both Malvolio and Antonio are prevented from having the objects of their desire. Malvolio, who has pursued Olivia, must ultimately face the realization that he is a fool, socially unworthy of his noble mistress. Antonio is in a more difficult situation, as social norms do not allow for the gratification of his apparently sexual attraction to Sebastian. Love, thus, cannot conquer all obstacles, and those whose desires go unfulfilled remain no less in love but feel the sting of its absence all the more severely. Love plays a major role in "Twelfth Night," and Shakespeare addresses true love, self-love and friendship in a very compelling and interesting way. "Twelfth Night" is the true definition of love, and I feel that Shakespeare does a great job of explaining a somewhat difficult topic, which is love. ...read more.

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