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Orsino is the romantic leading man in Twelfth Night, who is passionately sentimental suitor of his neighbour, Countess Olivia, however she does not return his love.

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  • Essay length: 833 words
  • Submitted: 30/08/2003
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AS and A Level Twelfth Night

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Orsino!!!

Orsino is the romantic leading man in Twelfth Night, who is passionately sentimental suitor of his neighbour, Countess Olivia, however she does not return his love. Orsino is moody and self obsessed; the famous speech with which he opens the play makes it clear that he is in love with love:

'If music be the food of love, play on,

Give me excess of it that, surfeiting,

The appetite may sicken and so die.

That strain again, it had a dying fall.

O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet sound

That breathes upon a bank of violets,

Stealing and giving odour. Enough, no more,

'tis not so sweet now as it was before.

O spirit of love, how quick and fresh art thou

That, notwithstanding thy capacity

Receiveth as the sea, naught enters there,

Of what validity and pitch so e'er,

But falls into abatement and low price

Even in a minute! So full of shapes is fancy

That it alone is high fantastical.'

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