William Shakespeare 's Twelfth Night

1106 Words5 Pages
Quentin Scott
Mrs. Zeigler
AP Literature – Period 5
9 January 2017
Is This True Love?
Why is love so popular? Almost every current movie have one thing in common: a love triangle between the characters. Before movies, people learned about love in literature. Even in the old literature, love was a common theme. In Shakespeare’s play “Twelfth Night”, different types of love between the characters are investigated. Each of the characters’ relationships play a role in the development of the story.
The first and main type of love in “Twelfth Night is true love. The story’s plot is driven by the complicated love triangle between Orsino, Viola, and Olivia. However, Viola’s love is the only true, genuine love. In the story, Viola disguises herself
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Orsino’s fake love is shown in his lust for Olivia. Orsino demonstrates his infatuation with Olivia when he says, “If music be the food of love play on, give me excess of it, that , surfeiting, The appetite may sicken and so die…”(Shakespeare 1.1). This statement shows that Orsino doesn’t understand true love but is fascinated with the idea of being in love. Orsini later states that “women are as roses whos fair flower, Being once displayed doth fall that very hours"(Shakespeare II.IV). Orsini is saying that women’s beauty fades over time and how he favors what Olivia offers him now. I along with many experts believe that Shakespeare’s literary works reflected societal structure of his time. During the time this story was written, women were seen as inferior to men. This belief system is shown in Orsini’s distorted view of Olivia. Orsino doesn’t love Olivia, he sees her as an attractive object that can raise his status.
Shakespeare also takes time to reveal self-love in his work. Self-appreciation is common and often beneficial to humans. Howver, too much can cause problems. In the play, Malvolio has issues with self-love. Malvolio’s love for himself is superficial and unilateral. Mythological critics argue that Shakespeare used Malvolio and his serious nature to symbolize of the aristocratic world. Personally, I agree with the critics. Malvolio acts as a reminder that the world is a serious place. While other characters are

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