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The ways in which Shakespeare portrays the themes of love in Twelfth Night

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  • Essay length: 1316 words
  • Submitted: 15/12/2002
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AS and A Level Twelfth Night

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The ways in which Shakespeare portrays the themes of love in Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night is a comedy set in 'Illyria,' a Mediterranean country. However, amongst the well-timed comical scenes, Shakespeare has other emotional predicaments intertwined with a variety of characters. Such predicaments are due to misleading identities and different love themes throughout the play; including love between grieving siblings, and the counts and countess' of Illyria. The main plot of the Twelfth Night revolves round the three main characters, Viola, Orsino and Olivia who speak in rhyming couplets. Each of the main characters form a 'love triangle' which expresses the main love themes in the play including Elizabethan courtly love, real selfless love and overwhelming love. The love between each character that form the love triangle is such that the love and affection is directed one way around the triangle; Viola loves Orsino who believes he loves Olivia who also impetuously believes she loves Viola. Outside the love triangle are the minor characters who speak in pros and show a further variety of different love themes but expressed in a light-heartened manner. These include self love and love based on a mutual agreement. All the characters in the

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