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

What are the contrasted attitudes to love in Twelfth Night and how are they linked to social class and social climbing?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Hassan Daoud Y10A 8/3/2004 English Coursework What are the contrasted attitudes to love in Twelfth Night and how are they linked to social class and social climbing? In the play, Twelfth Night, Shakespeare shows two main attitudes to love. The courtly, fairy tale love among people of high social class, for example Duke Orsino's attitude to love, and there is the 'earthy', realistic and physical love among the middle and lower class, like the love between Sir Toby and Maria. Shakespeare parallels the idealized love with earthy love, and between these are expressed the attitudes to love of Olivia, Viola and Feste. Duke Orsino's opening speech to the play is all four legs that make the 'throne' of courtly love. This paragraph explains the whole of Orsino's personality; very romantic, madly in love, but the ironic thing is that he does not mention who he loves, not even the sex or creation of the person he loves. This only proves that Orsino is in love with love itself. We can also tell that Orsino's love is unhealthy, but in Orsino's favour, he is trying to end his love. This is pointed out from the first line of his speech, 'If music be the food of love, play on' line 1, 1:1. Actually this line seems very romantic and that he truly loves a beautiful goddess by describing music as being the 'food' that his love feeds on but then Orsino crushes this beautiful image with the next two lines, ('Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting, The appetite may sicken, and so die.' ...read more.

Middle

Such characters like Feste, Touchstone from As You Like It and the Fool from King Lear are always making us ask the question, who is the real fool in this play? I believe in this play it is Sir Andrew and Malvolio whom are the real fools since they are two sad men who have crummy personalities; Sir Andrew acts like he knows French but only says one line (3:1 lines 73-75) and then stops as if he used up all his French. Sir Toby is a down to earth man, he is a typical example of a lower middle class guy although his rank is high socially. Sir Toby also uses a lot of sexual innuendo like 'front her, board her, woo her, assail her' which are examples of violent approaches to sex. Another example is act 1, scene 3 lines 97-99 which is a very sexual comment. He likes to drink and make many jokes, especially involving sex. His attitude to love is a lot more physical and 'earthy' then Orsino's heavenly love. We also that Sir Toby is very clever and has a way with words. For example, act 1, scene 3, lines 10-11, where 'confine' means to keep within the rules of reasonable behavior but when Sir Toby said 'I'll confine myself no finer that I am' he meant he will not dress himself better than he is dressed now. Sir Toby we also see admires Maria because of her intelligence and similarity in sexual innuendo. ...read more.

Conclusion

We see this in lines 149-160 and 167-168. But then Cesario replies in the same way as Olivia (161-166) to show he is compatible with her and that she is of high class too. Now we can speak about Malvolio. We can see that his attitude to love is a way to advance in society after Act 2 Scene 5 lines 24-41. He believes that it is only chance that he is a steward and not a lord ('T is but fortune; all is fortune'). We can also tell that he dreams of being served on and being a Count ('Calling my officers about me....' Lines 48-50 and also when he yells 'To be Count Malvolio!' as if it were a dream of his). We then can tell that Malvolio is a pure social climber and is to me the biggest fool of this play. In Act 5 scene 1 lines 359-361 we are surprised to hear that Sir Toby has married Maria as a reward for her help with tricking Malvolio. I think Sir Toby used that as a cover-up instead of saying that he truly loved her and that her help just added more fire to his passion for her. But Maria I think did this to catch Sir Toby's attention to show that she is clever and mischievous like he is, but I do not think she did this to socially climb but because she likes Sir Toby and his personality since his is very similar to hers. I believe her love is true. In conclusion, Twelfth Night includes many different attitudes to love and that it is linked to social climbing. ...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. What exactly is the purpose of Feste in 'Twelfth Night'?

    Viola shows her keen perception of others in being the only person to recognise Feste's true intellect: 'This fellow is wise enough to play the fool, and to do that craves a kind of wit. He must observe their mood on whom he jests, the quality of persons, and the

  2. What is Orsino's attitude towards women and how does this change during the course ...

    Mistaken identity plays a major part in this play. Without mistaken identity the play would not be able to develop. By disguising herself as a man Viola/Cesario gets mistaken for a male, which was her intention and therefore is treated equally by Orsino.

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

    Once again, Malvolio's utter hopelessness and the fact that he is totally oblivious to how wrong he is would invoke laughter, as well as perhaps sympathy. Malvolio's soliloquy provides a perfect opportunity for Shakespeare to underline and elaborate the fact that Malvolio is so obsessed with Olivia that he refuses to face the fact that she doesn't like him.

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

    Viola strikes back with words to back up women, herself really. In lines 101-4 Viola is suffering and is in distress because she can't tell him that she is a woman and how much love she has for him, plus if she does, Orsino will be mistaken about what he

  1. Twelfth night revolves very much round love and treatment of others.

    He also praises the disguised viola's feminine appearance and personality. Olivia falls for Cesario during the story. She begins to fall for Cesario (Viola) in and around Olivia's house. Olivia enjoys the presents of Cesario and bonds very well with him.

  2. Twelfth Night Act1 Scene 1 analysis

    Viola feels that she doesn't have any choice, so she allows the Captain to do so by saying, "Lead me on." [IMAGE] The Captain knows Illyria and the people in it. The place Illyria is located just above Greece and left of Macedonia.

  1. Twelfth Night Analysis of Feste

    We learn this in Olivia's statement stating that Feste is "an allowed fool" meaning he is licensed, privileged critic to speak the truth of the people around him. We also learn in a statement by Curio to the Duke that Feste is employed by Olivia's father.

  2. A joyful fantasy full of impossibilities. To what extent is this a true description ...

    is mad (a recurring theme in the play), after turning up after Olivia?s beckoning wearing yellow stockings and smiling inhumanely. Malvolio is imprisoned as Feste takes the role of ?Sir Topaz?, and convinces Malvolio that there?s ?no darkness but ignorance? ? which makes Malvolio believe that he is mad, which is revenge for being his pompous self.

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