The Theme of Love in William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night Essay

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The Theme of Love in William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night

In Twelfth Night, Shakespeare focuses strongly on the theme of love; romantic love, friendship, brotherly and sisterly love, unrealistic love and self-love. In this essay I am going to explore these aspects and write about the different sides of love in the play, such as humour and suffering. We find that in Twelfth Night love is a very complicated thing and confusion often occurs.

At the beginning of the play we find Orsino talking dramatically of his love for Olivia but actually seems to be in love with the idea of love itself. This shows that his feelings are not actually true and that he is very self-indulgent. He uses exaggerated
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The captain agrees to help her with this. Although Viola and the captain's friendship is not mentioned often in the play, we realise it is strong as they survived the shipwreck together and the captain promised to keep Viola's idea to dress up as a man a secret and she trusts him with this.

After only three days serving Orsino, Cesario has already become a favourite with Orsino. They become very close and Viola (Cesario) begins to fall in love with him. Unlike many of the other characters, Viola stays true to Orsino throughout the whole play, showing that her love for him is true and extremely deep. As Orsino thinks Viola is a man, she cannot tell him that she is in love with him.

Orsino asks Cesario to deliver his love messages to Olivia. She does so, but very reluctantly as she is in love with him and doesn't wish for him to marry Olivia.

At this point Olivia is in morning for her brother who has recently died and intends to do so for seven years. She is a very confident character and thinks highly of herself. As soon as Cesario comes into her life she immediately breaks the vow of not coming out for seven years as she has fallen in love with him. This is an example of dramatic irony and is funny, as the audience know that Cesario is really a woman. Viola as Cesario and Olivia build up a close friendship and they relate well as
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