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

Explain How Shakespeare Explores The Dangers Of The Dark Side Of Love In Twelfth Night, And Support Your Answer With References From Acts 1 And 2.

Extracts from this document...


Explain How Shakespeare Explores The Dangers Of The Dark Side Of Love In Twelfth Night, And Support Your Answer With References From Acts 1 And 2. The name of this play, Twelfth Night, is a holiday after Christmas, in which things are said to be turned upside down. Because of the nature of the plot of the play, this title seems fitting. Twelfth Night is set in an imaginary country called Illyria. The scenes occur mostly at Duke Orsino's Court and the house of Countess Olivia. A few scenes are also in the streets of the capital city of Illyria. Twelfth Night is what we call a romantic comedy, a happy Shakespearean play. Twelfth Night is a story of cross dressing and mistaken identity. It is filled with sexual tension between the characters and poetic words on love. The play is meant to bring laughter to the audience while touching their hearts. The main story is of a girl, named Viola, who dresses as a boy so she can have employment in a noble household. ...read more.


In his romantic haze, Orsino worries only about himself and his own feelings. Viola's mature love unselfishly puts Orsino's feelings before her own. If Olivia is what he wants, Viola will try to win her for him. "...She never told her love, But let concealment, like a worm i' th' bud, Feed on her damask cheek. She pined in thought And with a green and yellow melancholy She sat like patience on a monument, Smiling at grief. Was not this love indeed? We men may say more, swear more, but indeed, Our shows are more than will; for still we prove Much in our vows, but little in our love." -Viola Sebastian, Viola's brother whom she thinks is dead, and Antonio, a friend of Sir Toby, share a deep feeling for each other, which they call love. This love is not sexual. Today we would probably call this feeling friendship. It is a feeling of trust and a concern for the other person's well being born out of the difficult experiences they have shared. ...read more.


Various characters claim to suffer painfully from being in love, or, rather, from the sadness of unrequited love. At one point, Orsino depicts love glumly as an "appetite" that he wants to satisfy and cannot; at another point, he calls his desires "fell and cruel hounds". Olivia, bluntly, describes love as a "plague" from which she suffers terribly. These metaphors contain an element of violence, further painting the love-struck as victims of some random cruel joke. Even the less melodramatic Viola sighs unhappily, "My state is desperate for my master's love". This desperation has the potential to result in violence-as in Act V, scene 1, when Orsino threatens to kill Cesario because he thinks that Cesario has forsaken him to become Olivia's lover. This is one of many examples of the dark side of love leading to serious violence. In conclusion, Shakespeare explores the dark side of love by demonstrating the pain and anguish, which it causes, as well as through ambiguous relationships such as Sebastian and Antonio. The cross dressing is a powerful theatrical device to present women as men but retaining the personality of a woman in love. English Essay 7/11/02 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE Twelfth Night essays

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

    of listening to Orsino's messages: 'I bade you never speak again of him' This is another example of unrequited love, as Olivia does not want to hear about how much love Orsino has for her. Dramatic irony is highlighted here, as Olivia tells Cesario how much she loves him still

  2. What are the contrasted attitudes to love in Twelfth Night and how are they ...

    We see in Act 3, scene 1, we see Viola's courtly love side with lines like 'Most excellent accomplished lady, the heavens rain odours upon you!' (lines 87-88 3:1) which very similar to the way Orsino would speak. Also Viola uses complex words like 'pregnant' and 'vouchsafed' which make the

  1. Examine the ways in which Shakespeare creates comedy for the audience in Act 3 ...

    One such situation arises in Act 3 Scene 4 when Malvolio refers to the handwriting in the letter he received by stating "I think we do know the sweet Roman hand." Olivia meets this statement with utter confusion, as she knows nothing of the letter; yet the audience know exactly

  2. Act 2 scene 5 Twelth night - What dramatic devices ensure that this scene ...

    Malvolio's manner is very comical by the way in which he has been talking to himself for half an hour and rehearsing gestures and movements: "He has been yonder I'the sun practising behaviour to his own shadow this half hour.

  1. How far do you agree with the view that Twelfth Night is a comedy ...

    throughput the play when he duelled with Cesario, and he is less wealthy as cunning Sir Toby has sponged off him. The audience should really feel sorry for Sir Andrew because he is regarded as a fool by all other characters, especially Sir Toby who is supposed to be a good friend of his.

  2. Twelfth Night is one of Shakespeare's best-loved and most performed comedies because it is ...

    If studied carefully, there is only one real occurrence of true love in the play, even though three couples get together at the end. Sir Toby and Maria getting together is the only example of true love in the play, as they love each other without another motive, like money or power.

  1. Twelfth Night- Act 1

    and links love to sickness "sicken and so die." Orsino speaks the language of exaggeration "Give me excess of it", especially with regards to love. Orsino also, as we can see from these examples, talks incessantly of love. Olivia, a wealthy, beautiful, and noble Illyrian lady, is courted by Orsino and Sir Andrew Aguecheek, but to each of them

  2. What Types of love does Shakespeare explore in Twelfth Night?

    This is a clear act of jealousy and self-love, and Olivia knows this: 'O you are sick of self love, Malvolio, and taste with a distempered appetite' and tries to convince him to forgive Feste and be a bit more open minded, 'To be generous, guiltless, and of free disposition

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