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

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  • Essay length: 2335 words
  • Submitted: 27/10/2003
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AS and A Level Twelfth Night

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'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

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