Festivity in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night

Good Essays
The perfect lives that make up the routine of the Illyrian citizens portrays a society in which enjoyment, and personal gain are held in utmost priority. Shakespeares mocks the passivity of the Illyrian lifestyle to explain to the audience that excess of such festivity has negative side effects such as ego and lack of true love. He expresses that the pursuit of expression and truth in itself invokes enjoyment. Sir Aguecheek mirrors the uncertainty of a person through lack of self-confidence and the desire to openly reveal his true self when lamenting “Is it a world to hide virtues in?” (1.3.131). While uncovering aesthetic and emotional mysteries, the Illyrians find that disport restrains them from actual enjoyment and love. The play…show more content…
Yet Illyrians stand as “an integrated community”(Wells 180) because of their joint desire of pleasure, as does humanity with its everlasting desire for fun and material things. Excess of food, jewels, and money hints at the meaningless luxury the characters take for granted. Drowning in their material possessions symbolizes the total embodiment of the woes of desire. The audience learns that money is not required in order to attain happiness. It is the characteristics of the common men like the Captain and Antonio that make life and interaction enjoyable. Sebastian's indifference to Antonio’s love is obvious. Despite Antonio's true intention, Sebastian being as self-centered as the other Illyrians takes advantage of his hospitality and marries a lady he has just met. Orsino’s pathetic laments over his attraction towards Olivia show that he is “far more in love with language, music, love, and himself than he is with Olivia”(Bloom 229). Shakespeare’s mockery of the characters’ self-centered personas conveys to the audience that self indulgence and superficiality is not attractive. As the characters identities are being uncovered by the audience, the audience understands this concept. This leads to the unintentional growth of the audience; though the play is meant to be humorous, it also conveys a message. The characters
Get Access