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Discuss the different types of love presented in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.

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Discuss the different types of love presented in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. In this essay intend to examine the theme of love in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. The theme of love is the main part o the play and is portrayed in many varying forms. For example, unrequited love, excessive love, true love, physical love, which fall under the category of romantic love. The other types of love, for example, friendship love, filial love (love for family), avarice (love for money), self - love (and also true love) fall under the category of Platonic love. I will also intend to explore the influences of time on the play and analyze Shakespeare's language in the play. First of all I will start off by examining the different types of romantic love in the play. In Act 1,scene 1 the opening lines of Twelfth Night suggest that the play will be much about love as Orsino, the Duke of Illyria expresses his love throughout the play. You can tell that Orsino is not really in love with anything accept the thought of love. You can tell this by the way he speaks. For example in line 4, Orsino asks for the musical refrain to be repeated, 'That strain again', but in line 7 when he demands, 'Enough; no more', he has already had enough and tells the musicians to stop playing. Just by looking at these sentences we have already seen the quick change of mood in Orsino and more is yet to come. In this scene he also claims to be completely in love and obsessed with the Olivia, a countess in Illyria. This goes on throughout the whole play as he shows how much love he has for her. Orsino is so obsessed with love itself that he is blinded by his love for Olivia as she has no taste in him, which he does not realize until towards the end of the play. ...read more.


This is what Orsino is and he barely changes. These highlight his excessive love, maybe he's confused with what love really is, but at the moment, Orsino is in his own world of love. In this scene a simile is also highlighted: 'For women are as roses, whose fair flower, Being once displayed, doth fall that very hour' The simile here, 'For women are as roses' means that women's face grows up looking beautiful as roses but when the petals of roses turn brown and fall off nobody will want them any more, which Orsino is comparing between the roses and the beautiful faces of women. He also suggests that men should go out with women younger than themselves because that's the only chance to keep them when they're still young. Later near towards the end of the scene Feste sings a sad song about a true lover who died for love. He leaves commenting on Orsino's changeable moods: 'And the tailor make thy doublet of changeable taffeta, for thy mind is a very opal' What Feste means by that is, he knows that Orsino will leave Olivia for good and definitely will love Viola as soon as she reveals her true self to him that she is a woman. In lines 91-2 Orsino claims that his capacity for love is greater than that of any women: 'No women's heart so big, to hold too much. They lack retention. Alas, their love may be called appetite' In this quote the point that Orsino tries to get across to Cesario is that, no women can't love as much as men and can't hold so much. This highlights ironic comparison because he's talking about Viola as well, who has to stay up and listen to him talk about herself as well as other women. Orsino tries to show how much love he has in him: 'But mine is all as hungry as the sea' The simile used here, 'as hungry as the sea' highlights how much he's been possessed by love. ...read more.


Finally Sebastian arrives and his appearance surprises everyone. At this point of the play everything gets sorted out step by step. Questions are asked by both Viola and Sebastian to confirm that they are the brother and sister that had lost each other after shipwreck. This is another example of filial love. All is at last revealed! Sebastian and Viola are reunited. Viola tells of her disguise. All those sayings to Orsino from Viola have made Orsino realize that she had loved him from the very start. In lines 253-6 highlight love between Orsino and Viola. The love highlighted is 'Romantic love'. Olivia proposes a joint wedding celebration for the two couples at her house now that everything has been sorted. Orsino is a very strong character that he tells Viola that she can be with him, rather than Viola herself taking Orsino's hand as a proposal he tells Viola to take his. This is the quote that describes Orsino's strength: 'Here is my hand; you shall from this time be your master's mistress'. He does this because he knows that Viola will accept to marry him, which is why he told her than asking her. Meanwhile Malvolio's self-love problem is being sorted out by Olivia and she reveals that the letter that tricked Malvolio into all this was not written by her hand, it was Maria's hand writing and Fabian admits that it was them who plot this from the beginning. So everything has been solved and Orsino is looking forward to his marriage to Viola. Feste finishes it off and sings about a horrible life. The song is all in rhymes, and is back to his true self. In this essay I have examined the different types of love portrayed in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. My analysis has shown me the level of the theme of love in the play and that several characters find themselves involved in many varying types of love. The theme of love, as highlighted is complex and has many different differences (variations). Love, as I have shown is a central theme in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. ...read more.

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