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

'Explore the ways in which Shakespeare presents the theme of love throughout the Twelfth Night'.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

'Explore the ways in which Shakespeare presents the theme of love throughout the Twelfth Night' 'Twelfth Night' is one of Shakespeare's most popular comedies. While there are many aspects to the play, they all revolve around the theme of love. The idea of love appears throughout and helps create an atmosphere of mystery and confusion. The dramatic irony directly links to the main theme and is entertaining to the audience. The play features a love triangle between the three main characters, this triangle evolves and the relationships grow. This also adds to the entertainment value and exhibits Shakespeare's stagecraft. The play opens with Count Orsino's over zealous approach to love; 'If music be the food of love, play on' This dramatic link between love and music highlights passion and infatuation. Orsino's version of love is very powerful and he compares it to the power of music. Shakespeare uses a character that makes these exaggerated comparisons and uses hyperbole in order to underline his assumptions about love and how easily it can be confused with other emotions. Orsino appears very moody in the opening scene and this characteristic features throughout. His mood is volatile and changes frequently; 'Stealing and giving odour. Enough; no more' This fickleness shows Orsino's inconsistency and it is used to mirror the "insanity" often associated with love. ...read more.

Middle

There are many different versions of love in the play and the most comic of these is Sir Toby and Maria. They provide an amusing sub plot to the more dramatic play. The dialogue between the two suggests that Maria will have a positive influence on Sir Toby and perhaps calm his nature. The couple are a suitable paring and they offer a light-hearted view on love and relationships. Malvolio is Olivia's steward and his own ideas towards relationships are much more controversial. He is lead to believe, by Maria, Sir Toby, Feste, Fabian and Sir Andrew that Olivia has fallen in love with him. They use love as a weapon to revenge themselves on him in order to teach him a valuable lesson about arrogance. Malvolio exhibits signs of self-love and self-importance. He is only interested in the conquest and status he would gain, Olivia points out; 'O, you are sick of self-love' He portrays vanity and is utterly selfish; Shakespeare uses Malvolio to explore the idea of one-sided love that is purely for gain. Malvolio also appears to have a very disdainful view of love and this is displayed when he throws the ring Olivia has asked him to give to Cesario on the ground and walks off. He is only concerned with things that will benefit him. ...read more.

Conclusion

The play presents many different versions of love from platonic feelings such as Sebastian and Viola to the lovesick feelings similar to Romeo's in 'Romeo and Juliet' that Orsino displays. Like Orsino, Romeo was a character who the audience would feel needed to mature and be more realistic in feelings and language. These totally opposite versions are surveyed and the audience are produced with an array of varied emotions that are heavily connected to love. Personally, I found the play to be incredibly appealing and engaging. The storyline is both humorous and sad, with the comical elements outweighing the more gloomy ones. The play stirs many emotions and immerses the audience in the plot I found myself being drawn to the compassion of specific characters and the emotive language worked well. The play is enjoyable, amusing and cleverly crafted. The plot of the play surrounds the misreading of the characters actions. The difference between appearance and reality is repeatedly shown throughout the behaviour and conduct of the characters. The disguises people use to hide the truth lead to the confusion and mystery the play operates under, creating yet another version of love. This suggests we are possibly extensions of our own emotions and we generate these varied forms of love that have been adapted from one basic type. Shakespeare presents these ideas shrewdly concealed in the framework of the entertaining and humorous play. By Kira Agass 1 ...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. Twelfth Night is a feminist play. Discuss.

    Viola, however, is very likable and has charisma. The people, who come in contact with her, actually grow to like her very quickly. Examples are Orsino, and Olivia. This can be seen from, "He hath known you but three days, and already you are no stranger."

  2. 'Disguise I see thou art a wickedness' (Viola 2.2) What is the function of ...

    The physical disguise is Twelfth Night brings to light those who have mental illusions as to who they are. Malvolio, for example considers himself to be respected and is the first person to call other characters a fool when in fact the audience think of him as a fool.

  1. "Conceal what I am" - Explore the theme of disguise and deception in "Twelfth ...

    "Be not amaz'd; right noble is his blood. If this be so, as yet the glass seems true, I shall have share in this most happy wreck." Orsino here demonstrates a rapid detachment from Olivia and instead switches his attentions to Viola.

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

    However Orsino's extensive exaggerating could imply that Shakespeare uses the character of Orsino to highlight his assumption about love and how easily it can be confused with other emotions. It also display society's own defect of exaggerating our own emotions.

  1. Discuss the dramatic significance of Feste in TwelfthNight.

    Such as when Feste asks, 'would you have a love song or a song of good life?' The choice reflects the audiences' and the characters' mood at this current moment in the play, or as he said in his final song '...And we'll strive to please you every day.'

  2. Love as a Cause of Suffering - Twelfth Night is a romantic comedy, and ...

    By dressing his protagonist in male garments, Shakespeare creates endless sexual confusion, with the Olivia-Viola-Orsino love triangle. Other characters in disguise include Malvolio, who puts on crossed garters and yellow stockings in the hope of winning Olivia, and Feste, who dresses up as a priest, Sir Topas, when he speaks

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

    This is where Viola's true love for Orsino is being shown as she sacrifices her own happiness for Orsino's by helping him get what he want. This deceit also intertwines humor and romance, with Olivia falling in love with 'Cesario' causing the humor, and the unspoken love from Viola to Orsino bringing out the romance.

  2. Describe the different forms of disguise and deception that feature in the Twelfth Night

    Malvolio and Feste's turbulent past had been briefly documented when in Act 1 Malvolio says "I marvel your ladyship takes delight in such a barren rascal" (A1 S5 L81). It's interesting to take into account that Feste is supposed to be the fool of the play, but he doesn't setup

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