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

Twelfth Night is full of echoes and parallels. Consider how these contribute to the overall effect of the play.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

English Literature Max Chambers L6-1 Twelfth Night is full of echoes and parallels. Consider how these contribute to the overall effect of the play. The echoes and parallels in Twelfth Night separate comedy from poignancy pertaining to different kinds of love. They reinforce and enhance the audience's appreciation of certain characters, revealing a different side. They emphasize certain themes through language and metaphor, particularly those of love, disguise, and fate. They also create anticipation and suspense for the reconciliation of Viola and Sebastien. Shakespeare links certain characters together in the play. The twins, Viola and Sebastien, both make for the same place in Illyria. Obviously, their situations are similar as they were both involved in the same shipwreck. Both believe that their twin is dead and this is ironic for the audience, but more importantly, it creates anticipation and suspense as the audience await a reconciliation, which is likely to be comic, given that the pair are identical twins and Viola is disguised as a man. Shakespeare links Orsino and Olivia together, as both are self-absorbed and proud. This is recognised in both characters by Viola. Both Orsino and Olivia describe love in terms of visual qualities. ...read more.

Middle

The fact that Olivia is loved by both two characters from the sub-plot and one from the main plot, reminds the audience that the stories are proceeding in the same place, and that the plots are connected. The theme of disguise is one which dominates the play throughout. Viola both disguises herself as a woman, and disguises her true feelings for Orsino. Likewise, Olivia disguises her love for Viola. This theme is extended by Shakespeare when it is revealed that Sebastien went under the alias of Roderigo whilst he was being aided by Antonio. The purpose of this is unclear, though Shakespeare may simply be emphasising that disguise is a facet of human nature. The structure of the play creates parallels. In particular, Act One Scene Two echoes Act Two Scene One. The scenes are almost identical, with both Viola and Sebastien arriving in Illyria. The almost duplicate scenes increase anticipation of the future reconciliation, and the extended conversation between Antonio and Sebastien, and the fact that Antonio is named, causes the audience to expect Antonio to make another appearance later in the play. In addition, Act One Scene Four mirrors Act Two Scene Four, with Orsino and Viola discoursing about his love for Olivia. ...read more.

Conclusion

Olivia says of Viola, "Methinks I feel this youth's perfections With an invisible and subtle stealth To creep in at mine eyes." These references cause the audience to recognise that the feelings of these two characters are largely shallow and superficial. In addition, the echo created by "Illyria," where the play is set, and "Elysium," the Greek term for heaven, shows the richness of poetry and also illustrates that Illyria is a kind of fantasy world. We are reminded that it is not of this world. The echo created by the references to love being like an illness reminds us that love can have negative effects. Olivia calls love "the plague" and the emotion has made Orsino ill. Orsino associates the appetite for food with the appetite for love and relates overeating to lust. This again ties in with Orsino and Olivia's pre-occupation with appearances in matters of love. Orsino talks about the sea with relation to the size of his love for Olivia, demonstrating his arrogance. This draws a parallel to the shipwreck from which Viola and Sebastien have been involved in. This theme of the sea is echoed again when in Act One Scene Two, the Captain refers to the myth of Arion and the Dolphin, which suggests to the audience that Sebastien might well be alive, and creates anticipation of a future reconciliation. ...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. Cruelty in "Twelfth Night" - an examination of Shakespeare's comedy's darker side.

    In scene iv of this Act Sir Andrew brings his challenging letter for Cesario to Toby for him to deliver. Belch however has no intention of delivering this letter and instead, delivers the letter to Cesario by word of mouth.

  2. How does Shakespeare explore the theme of deception and self-deception in Twelfth Night?

    From this we can see that he is deluded into thinking that Olivia would love him and so he stays in Illyria to try to get her. The mastermind behind the gulling of Malvolio has also disguised aspects of Maria's personality.

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

    She never told her love, / But let concealment, like a worn i'th'bud, / Feed on her damask check. She pined in thought," this quote tells us of Viola's intense love that is not shown to Orsino. By her words we can tell of her hidden, long suffering that is killing her slowly.

  2. Twelfth Night is a feminist play. Discuss.

    This can be the social equality being emphasized. However, it could also show that Shakespeare is trying to show that despite the equality between males and females, there would still be one superior individual, in this case, Feste, who happens to be a male. This is inferred from the fact that Shakespeare displays Feste, as a fool, who

  1. Cruelty in "Twelfth Night"

    They are both mourning for dead brothers, at this stage of the play Viola is; they are both orphans; they have similar names; I think that Shakespeare possibly meant for this similarity so that they can both be seen as unfortunate girls whose lives have taken extremely different courses.

  2. Does Malvolio deserve his fate?

    Malvolio falls for the trick so entirely that he induces a little sympathy from the audience because he is so gullible and easily deceived.

  1. Discuss the different kinds of love presented in the play.

    Many people, even in today's society, love themselves more then anything else. "Twelfth Night" addresses the issue of self love and how it affects peoples lives. Malvolio is the easiest to identify with the problem of self love. He sees himself as a handsome and noble man.

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

    Olivia, like Orsino, is a sentimental romantic, excessive in her mourning and melodramatic in being a 'cloistress' or is she deliberately trying to avoid him, particularly as seven years seems like an excessive period of mourning. Whatever the actual reason, this allows Shakespeare to introduce the theme of unrequited love in this scene.

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