Twelfth Night

2039 WordsDec 4, 20009 Pages
Twelfth Night "Twelfth Night is a comedy of light and shade. Its characters are not unreservedly happy and the events are not unreservedly humorous." Discuss. As a comedy, Twelfth Night is obviously intending to not only entertain its audience but also point out problems in society. It is imperative to entire merit of the play not to be realistic but to allow for empathy. Therefor to have a comedy of complete lightheartedness there would be no balance and hence no avenue for audience interaction. Without light we would have no darkness and for this reason Shakespeare has had to incorporate tragedy in order for the comedy to have it's desired effect. The two in…show more content…
In Twelfth Night there is conflict concerning who will win the hand of Oliva. Malvolio through his vanity is easily fooled into thinking it is he who she loves although she is most otherwise, "O, you are sick of self love, Malvolio, and taste with a distemper'd appetite." Another social theme that is not "unreservedly humorous" dealt with in Twelfth Night is the idea of self-awareness. Self-awareness is based around being well balanced rather than excessive, therefor to convey this idea neither the characters nor the plot can be completely, inadvertently "happy." Self-awareness is developed by both Olivia and Orsino; they were both creatures of lavishness. Orsino plunged deeply into his unrequited almost courtly love for Olivia his verbose, dramatic language demonstrates this, "If music be the food of love, play on; / Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting, / The appetite may sicken and die." This passionate plea and later exchanges demonstrate Orsino's developing character. Initially he is more "in love" with the idea of love. We as the audience and survey of this activity may find his self-absorption laughable but as he develops into a well-rounded character, it is evident why Shakespeare portrayed him in this way. It is vital the believability and credit to the play

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