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Twelfth Night

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Rio Small 10C2 English Mrs Fletcher 10K1 Love is the central theme in Twelfth Night. Write as much as you can about the pleasure ad pain associated with love in the play in relation to the main characters Orsino, Olivia, and Viola. In your answer you should refer closely to the text. The play begins with Orsino madly in love with Olivia. He speaks of violets, scented winds, rich golden shafts of love, beds of flowers, and of the pleasure of music. Orsino feels he needs "excess" of love, more than he can absorb. He thinks that if Olivia will not accept his love then he will die of not being loved. He describes love as a "sweet sound" that "breathes upon a bank of violets", he seems to be in a very strong position because he can express his love and not keep it bottled in. Orsino than suddenly goes into a mood swing. "Enough; no more. 'Tis not so sweet as it was before". You can imagine that the musicians playing are probably getting fed up of him. "That, notwithstanding thy capacity, Receiveth as the sea." Orsino then compares his love to the sea and how his love can fill the sea but you notice that he is always talking about himself, his love, which suggests that he is self obsessed. He goes on about the how painful being in love is and also the pleasures you get out of it but he never really has experienced love itself. ...read more.


He also said that she is a virgin and is determined to stay that way. After her father and brother died she blocked men out of her life altogether. Viola is also mourning for her brother, so nothing would please her more than to serve Olivia. The captain, however, says that such a plan is impossible. Olivia will see no one. Viola conjures up and plan to disguise herself as a young eunuch, and she will pay the captain for his aid if he presents her to Duke Orsino. She will sing for the duke, play any number of musical instruments for him and she will introduce herself in his household. Viola and Olivia are in the same situation but are very different women. Olivia is able to indulge in her grief while Viola doesn't have the time but deeply grieves for her brother but still can function in the practical world. Since Viola has no knowledge of this place and does not know anyone here she must use her wit, her intelligence, and her ability to examine situations and characters. Act 1 Scene 5 is the first time see Olivia and Viola disguised as Cesario together. Cesario showers Olivia with compliments like "Most radiant, exquisite, and unmatchable beauty" while avoiding questions referring to "his" status and background. Olivia seems to be intrigued with Cesario. Cesario continues but Olivia keeps being a bit of an annoyance and than Cesario says "I took great pains to study it" but Olivia will hear none of it. ...read more.


Antonio compares them as "an apple cleft in two" , you can't have on without the other. Viola says how she had a father and a brother both named Sebastian and her father had a mole upon his brow and Sebastian interrupts saying so did his father, then Viola says how he died when she had numbered thirteen years and Sebastian also agrees that exactly the same about his father. Cesario reveals himself from his "masculine usurped attire" and says that "he" is Viola and she can prove it by taking them to the home of a sea captain who knows of her disguise and is keeping her women's clothes for her. Sebastian turns to Olivia and tells her that she has been "mistook". Had she married Cesario, she would "have been contracted to a maid". But he gives her good news also. As her husband, he is a bit of a "both maid and man". Orsino turns to Viola and changes his feelings from Olivia to Viola and asks for Viola's hand in marriage as he realises his "true" love for her. The play ends on a happy note, with promise of happiness for almost everyone. Twelfth Night is a play of mixed moods. The primary issues of the entire play were disguise and love and they were consistent throughout. The main characters all had their own views of love and each endured the pains and pleasures but they all seem to be happy by the end since the theme of disguise has gone and all had been revealed once Sebastian came onto the scene in Act Scene 1. ...read more.

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