William Shakespeare 's Twelfth Night And Sheridan 's The Rivals

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The theme of ‘love’ is central to the attitudes in both Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’ and Sheridan’s ‘The Rivals’. Both playwrights highlight the different kinds of love and portray these through each character’s experience with the emotion. In both plays, the complexity of love is embodied by deception which demonstrates how easily our feelings can be manipulated, which is also conveyed through comedy. Shakespeare mocks the main character’s idea’s of love by showing how the devotion that connects siblings and servants to masters prove more constant than any of the romantic bonds amongst the other characters. Throughout this piece I am going to discuss not only the techniques that are used to present the theme of love, but also how both…show more content…
This not only alerts us to Orsino’s disturbing ideas about love, but also shows us how erotic desire is linked to violence and self indulgence. Orsino is more concerned with himself as a lover than with the object of his love, suggesting he is a narcissist; implying that with false love comes self love. “There is no woman’s sides Can bide the beating of so strong a passion” This declarative implies there is no woman strong enough to to withhold the intense passion felt by Orsino. The harsh alliterative plosives used in the violent metaphor “bide the beating” portray an almost misogynistic attitude again conveying that his ability to love is more important to him than being in love. In the opening scene, he imagines himself as the “king” of Olivia’s mind and heart which suggests a marital hierarchy rather than mutuality. This suggests that Orsino’s perceptions of love are superficial, and again enforces a misogynistic attitude. Similarly, in ‘The Rivals’, the character Lydia Languish is a creature of romantic sensibility. The alveolal laterals in her name create an alluring sound hinting at her desire for romance. One of the prominent themes in the play is that of the 18th century opposition between courtship 's means and objective: falling in love and marriage. Lydia’s guardian Mrs Malaprop wishes for Lydia to have an arranged marriage; to gain
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