William Shakespeare 's Twelfth Night Essay

2147 WordsNov 16, 20169 Pages
From a child’s first words to a grandparent’s last, the phrase “I love you” is a staple of the human vocabulary. Defined as “a passionate affection for another person,” love takes on many forms throughout life and literature (Merriam-Webster). Through its passionate drama and witty repartee, Twelfth Night, by William Shakespeare, explores the intricate, and often complicated, realm of interpersonal love. By tracing the intertwining storylines of four unique characters, Shakespeare communicates the futility of self-love, the desperation of hopeless love, and the immeasurable virtue of selfless love. An after-effect of human’s sinful condition, self-love manifests itself in the heart of a lowly servant, causing vanity and conceit. Hopeless love, bleak and austere, causes love-sick nobility to develop deep infatuation for unattainable partners. Lastly, selfless love aids an honorable woman in diligently serving her master. Throughout the entire storyline, all forms of love perform an integral role. In his play, Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare demonstrates the complexity of love through the selfish ambitions of Malvolio, the romantic passions of Orsino and Olivia, and the self-sacrificing devotion of Viola. Throughout the entire play, Malvolio, Olivia’s steward, displays an intense form of self-love, manifested in his acts of condescension and selfishness. Beginning with his first appearance in Act I, Scene 5, Malvolio establishes a disgraceful reputation. After Olivia
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