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Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.

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Shakespeare's Twelfth Night Coursework Act One, Scene One, is important because it sets up the audience's expectations for the play and introduces one of the central characters. It is set in the palace of Orsino Duke of Illyria, where they are surrounded by comfort and riches, which is in contrast to the next scene which is set on the sea coast of Illyria. The scene shows Orsino's character well, it is obvious that all he thinks about is love and he is indulging himself thinking about it. This is shown in the first line of the scene "If music be the food of love, play on" and in the last line, "Away before me to sweet beds of flowers: Love-thoughts lie rich when canopied with bowers". ...read more.


When Valentine enters, the audience discover that Orsino has sent him to call on Olivia. If he was in love as he says he is, then he would have visited her himself instead of sending someone else. After Valentine was turned away, he goes on to send Cesario (Viola) because he does not want to risk the embarrassment of not being let in himself. Valentine tells Orsino what Olivia's handmaid has told him "The element itself, till seven years' heat, Shall not behold her face at ample view; But like a cloistress she will veil�d walk, And water once a day her chamber round With eye-offending brine; all this to season A brother's dead love, which she would keep fresh And lasting, in her sad remembrance". ...read more.


This characteristic is also shown in Act Two, Scene Four, when he is talking to Cesario (Viola) about love when he is questioning Cesario with, who he loves or has been in love with and she says that the person she loves is older than her. Orsino says that a man should always marry a woman younger than himself because, "Our fancies are more giddy and unfirm, More longing, wavering, sooner lost and worn, Than women's are" The first scene builds the audience's expectations for the rest of the play, they would expect that the play is to be about love, which it is, but they might also get the impression that Orsino and Olivia are going to be the main love story of the play, when they actually only get one scene together, and each of them ends up with another character by the end of the play. ...read more.

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