Theme Of Orsino In Twelfth Night

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Different types of love and marriage play a significant role in Shakespeare’s twelfth night, whether unrequited like with Antonio and Malvolio; or something seemingly unattainable like with Duke Orsino. Love is prevalent as one of Shakespeare's central theme emphasized in the Twelfth Night. With that, we see Shakespeare communicate different interpretations and feelings regarding the subject. He does this with the medium of melodramatic characters. However, this essay will solely elaborate on the character Duke Orsino and his exploration of love. Through Orsino’s actions, Shakespeare conveys several messages still applicable today, some of which are about the fine line between superficial love and genuine love, love's incoherency, and love's …show more content…

This inconsistency is embodied in the Twelfth Night when Orsino is irrational in his pursuit of beautiful Countess Olivia, yet he cedes her without regret or uncertainty. The duke then falls instantly in love with Viola, who was formerly known to him as a man named “Cesario.” Moreover, it almost seems as if Orsino enjoys the pain and suffering that comes with romance. He continues to engage himself in the quarrels of love while he states that it is an undying appetite, yet he can say that love “is so vivid and fantastical, nothing compares to it," implying that love is obsessive and bittersweet. Through this sudden change and obsession of love even through pain, Shakespeare communicates that love is something fantastic, pleasing and passionate, and our desires for these things lead our love lives to be obsessive, incoherent, excessive and unexpectedly …show more content…

The fantasy of Olivia he “unconditionally loves” is not about Olivia, but all about himself. Not only this, but Orsino is easily convinced to return the deep affection of Viola, possibly because the Duke focuses entirely on his success and desires in love rather than genuine affection. Perhaps, Orsino only developed these feelings for Olivia because he wanted more luxurious things in life. Orsino had great food, servants, and a giant castle. The one thing he lacks is love. Therefore, the Duke wished to have the most beautiful countess in all of the land: Olivia, to continue owning more and more luxurious things. Through this, Shakespeare conveys that an egotist and wealthy man cannot genuinely love if only fixates on the gain of love for himself. Shakespeare is also demonstrating superficial love versus genuine love, and he illustrates the notion that a man who is too narcissistic cannot think about love beyond his erotic fantasies. Instead, Shakespeare conveys through Viola, wherein she genuinely loves Orsino for who he is and does not love for the sake of love's desire itself. She stays committed to Orsino over Countess

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