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

Shakespeare uses this theme of different kinds of love to show the many different situations that can arise from these different kinds of love, and henceforth lead the audience to think deeper and ponder upon the wonders of the different kinds of love....

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Discuss the different kinds of love presented in the play. Twelfth Night, in itself, portrays many hidden meanings and themes that speak out to different people, in different ways. Shakespeare makes use of the many characters, and choreographs different steps and creates relationships and the plot, and sub-plot, to make Twelfth Night complete, with its many themes. One of the central messages of this play is prominently, love. With this main theme, Shakespeare creates an interesting plot and sub-plot, to entertain, and also provoke his audience to think hard, and allow them to decide for themselves, which kind of love is one that they would choose in their own lives. Different kinds of love, such as in love with the idea of love, imaginary love, self-indulgent love, self-love, or true, sacrificial love are displayed in this play. Shakespeare uses this theme of different kinds of love to show the many different situations that can arise from these different kinds of love, and henceforth lead the audience to think deeper and ponder upon the wonders of the different kinds of love. "What you will", could probably be speaking out to the audience as well, to carefully think about which type of love impresses upon them most, and allow the audience to choose for themselves, what applies to them the most. One of the main types of love portrayed would be romantic love. Romantic love is shown between many of the characters, in comparable ways, yet unique in each of their own portrayals. From Orsino's superficial, transient love or infatuation for Olivia, to Olivia's fleeting and overwhelming love at first sight for Cesario (Viola), to Viola's true, sincere and sacrificial love for Orsino, we can surely see the importance of love in the play. Through these three types of romantic love, Shakespeare creates a love triangle involving the three, and creates a plot that is complex, yet entertaining at the same moment. ...read more.

Middle

In comparison, Olivia's love towards Cesario (Viola), is that of love at first sight. Within a few questions about Cesario, Olivia gains interest in this messenger of Orsino. The kind of questions she asks implies the kind of love she would portray. "What kind o'man is he?", "What manner of man?", "Of what personage and years is he?", we can see that she looks on the surface, and emphasizes on the person's age and looks. This hence shows that the love she could give would be superficial and on the surface. When Cesario finally gains entry, Olivia thrusts her with questions about Cesario, "Whence came you, sir?", "What is your parentage" and other questions. Olivia gradually turns her short interest into overwhelming love for Cesario. From, "You might do much", which implies that she feels that Cesario is too intense, and is overwhelming her, we can see that Olivia is growing in her intensifying affections for Cesario. Also, in her soliloquy, she repeats to herself, her questions towards Cesario, and Cesario's answers. Moreover, from "Thy tongue (wit), thy face (looks), thy limbs (body), actions (behaviour) and spirit (passion)/Do give thee fivefold blazon. Not too fast! Soft soft -" From thus, we can see that she has already fallen in love with Cesario. From, "Not too fast! Soft soft -" we can also infer that she is now in a dilemma, as she is supposedly in mourning for her dead brother, yet she is falling in love with Cesario. Finally, she decides, "Well, let it be!", and shows that she is indeed attracted to Cesario. This love portrayed is rather superficial, as she is dependent on the looks and outer appearance and falls in love with Cesario at first sight. Furthermore, she implies in her own soliloquy, "Mine eye too great a flatterer for my mind", suggesting that she is led by what she sees, which thus further emphasizes on how her love is superficial. ...read more.

Conclusion

He also calls Olivia "Madonna" several times in this scene, Act 1 Scene 5. We can infer that it is sarcastic and implies that Olivia is pretentious and fake, for Madonna gives an impression of saintly and holy, and obviously, no one can be holy. Thus, Feste uses the name "Madonna" on Olivia to indirectly insult her pretentious self, seeking for attention and pity. From hence, we can see that she wants to bring attention to herself, and hence is full of self-adoration too. In this case, Shakespeare inputs this nature of self-love in Olivia, and contrasts it with other characters such as Sir Andrew, Sir Toby, Malvolio and Orsino. We can see a great similarity between Olivia and Orsino. Both have a superficial and surface idea of love, and are often exaggerative and excessive in their ways and actions. Also, they are self-centred in the way that they focus more about their own emotions and feelings, wallowing in self-pity. From hence, we can see the comparison between the two. Also, Shakespeare creates an irony whereby Olivia is the one that says that Malvolio is "sick of self-love", when she, herself is guilty of the same thing. All in all, Shakespeare gives his audience an idea on how self-love can lead to many unforeseen consequences, and is often born of pure conceit and pride, or self-delusion or just foolish vanity. In conclusion, Twelfth Night is a play driven by love, with the theme of love recurring through out the play. Shakespeare brings out the different kinds of love in various characters, and implants a unique purpose in each character to emphasize and imply the different kinds of love and ideas he wants to introduce to his audience. Several of the characters are bound in love, be it romantic love, self-love, platonic love, love between siblings, or the greatest love of all (Viola's in this case), we can see it brought out in each character. All in all, there are different kinds of love presented in Twelfth Night, in the plot and sub-plot, in the main characters and minor characters. ...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. How does Shakespeare explore the theme of deception and self-deception in Twelfth Night?

    "What is love? 'Tis not hereafter, Present mirth hath present laughter:" Unlike Orsino who believes that everything will work out okay when you fall in love, Feste believes that the future is always uncertain. We can see this from the quote, "What's to come is still unsure", which displays his insecurity about life.

  2. Discuss the different types of love presented in Twelfth Night

    We can see this from her speech that Valentine made to Orsino regarding Olivia, "The element itself, till seven years' heat, /Shall not behold her face at ample view, / But, like a cloistress, she will veiled walk, / And water once a day her chamber round/ With eye-offending brine;

  1. Twelfth Night is one of Shakespeares comedy plays. Shakespeare demonstrates many comedic situations that ...

    Simultaneously, Olivia's kinsmen challenges Viola to a duel and Sebastian happened to appear at that same time. Olivia sees this all happening and asks Sebastian to marry her. Sebastian all confused as he never seen this woman before agrees and marries her.

  2. Consider Shakespeare's presentation of Orsino and Olivia in Twelfth Night and consider how they ...

    They cannot control their emotions and are too easily swayed. In relation to this, is the fact that both Orsino and Olivia have determination. Although Orsino's determination is to try and win Olivia's love and is driven by his own self pity, Olivia is determined that she will mourn her brother for seven years.

  1. Does Malvolio deserve his fate?

    He does not respect them and they dislike and ridicule him. Sir Toby, Sir Andrew, Feste and Maria do not share Malvolio's patronising, high opinion of himself and they mimic him by singing at him and reminding him that he is no more 'than a steward.'

  2. Examine the ways in which Shakespeare uses structure and language to dramatise the comparisons ...

    Despite the differences in the kinds of love Orsino's language remains the same using imagery with the semantic field of flowers, life and death: "Hath killed the flock... That live in her; when liver, brain and heart... Away before me to sweet beds of flowers" Throughout the scene there has

  1. Discuss the dramatic significance of Feste in TwelfthNight.

    The first interpretation of this pun is the word 'colours' which can mean enemy or war. So, logically, someone who is already dead can't fear. However, an Elizabethan audience could have heard it as 'collars' (hangmen's nooses) so they don't fear them.

  2. The Dramatic Importance of Act 1 Scenes 1 and 2 referring to other parts ...

    The Elizabethan audience might interpret Orsino's love sickness, shown in this scene as being a form of madness. This is a theme that Shakespeare picks up on in other parts of the play, including Act 3 scene 4 where Olivia accuses Malvolio of 'midsummer madness'.

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