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The ways in which Shakespeare uses structure and language to dramatise the comparisons in Twelfth Night


Analyze the methods which Shakespeare utilizes structure and language to dramatise the comparisons between different sort of love in Twelfth Night concentrating on Act 5, Scene 1 and a couple of other scenes of your choice. Twelfth Night is believed to have been written in 1601, near the middle of Shakespeare’s profession. The play takes a look at deceptiveness, camouflage, illusion and probably most significantly the amazing things that like can trigger us to do.

Shakespeare does this successfully through clever use of language and structure.

Act 1, Scene 1 of the comedy starts with a nobleman called Orsino, pining away for the love of Girl Olivia, a worthy Illyrian lady. Shakespeare uses images to represent love:

“If music be the food of love, use;

Provide me excess of it, that, surfeiting

The cravings might sicken, therefore pass away.”

Orsino’s language contains images which recur throughout the play such as music, death, love and food while revealing his love. Orsino does not discuss Lady Olivia up until his discussion with Curio right after, this leads us to recommend that Orsino is in love with the idea of being in love itself, for that reason being self-centered. Consequently the referral to food can be viewed as Orsino’s appetite for love. This hunger we are informed causes illness and pain, again the images of sickness symbolises Orsino’s extreme feelings towards love. The idiom ‘If music be the food of love, play on’ has actually entered into British language and has actually become a regularly used expression.

Nevertheless, Olivia does not desire to be with Orsino and declines to captivate any proposals of marital relationship. On the return of a message from Olivia’s family, Orsino is informed that Olivia has actually promised to grieve for her brother for seven years. Orsino accepts this rejection gladly and is proud of Olivia for paying the ‘financial obligation of love’ to her bro. This love towards a brother or sister is the 3rd love to be discovered in the scene and indeed Twelfth Night, however regardless of this seemingly kind act of regard it can also be seen as selfish to shut herself from others especially with the high status and position she has in Illyrian society. The first type of love determined was unrequited love, developed and kept through selfishness and the 2nd type being melancholy love as seen by Orsino’s sadness and torment. Despite the differences in the sort of love Orsino’s language remains the same utilizing imagery with the semantic field of flowers, life and death:

“Hath eliminated the flock …

That live in her; when liver, brain and heart …

Away prior to me to sweet beds of flowers”

Throughout the scene there has been little change in structure, Orsino has actually spoken verse throughout, while acting the traditional romantic hero, and through the 3 sort of love identified there has actually still been making use of caesura which is typically utilized to provide a remarkable effect. Nevertheless, whilst Orsino was thinking of his own love at the start there was far more caesura utilized. Shakespeare would have done this to exaggerate Orsino’s melancholy love further and also to communicate his state of mind and feelings much more quickly. There is likewise a difference in rhyme. The start speech contains two rhyming couplets: ‘more’ and ‘before’ and ‘there’ and ‘soe’er’. While the final speech just includes one: ‘flowers and bowers’. The varying use of structure in between the 2 recommendations to love highlights the difference between a falsified, nostalgic, dramatised love and a more unwinded and authentic love towards a brother or sister.

The second scene of Act 1, also develops the love between brother or sisters as Viola, a young lady of Messaline assumes that her twin sibling, Sebastian has actually died in the ship wreck while she was brought safely to shore. Instead of being grateful and rejoicing her own deliverance Viola started to lament her brother’s loss:

“My brother he is in Elysium.

Perchance he is not drown ‘d: what believe you, sailors?”

Again using caesura conveys the emotion and panic felt by selfless Viola, particularly by the method the colon rushes on her ideas to the concern directed at the sailors. Viola decides that she must make it through in Illyria asking the captain for assistance. She can not work for Olivia as she in grieving so instead she asked the captain to disguise her as a male using the feigned name Cesario in order for her to work as a page for Duke Orsino. Subsequently, Viola’s appearance and disguise as a young male in Illyria triggers problem and confusion in between both Orsino’s and Olivia’s household and Viola becomes the primary lead character. Consequentially a complex love pattern emerges which seems to revolve completely around Olivia. This recognizes an apparent link between the 2 characters who’s names bear quite a similarity, while both are grieving for their lost brothers they are likewise both lead the primary plot to continue, Olivia continuing the theme of love and the numerous kinds it can take, while Viola upholds the theme of concealed feelings and identity.

Duke Orsino takes favourably to his brand-new page, unburdening his heart to Cesario informing him about his love towards Woman Olivia. Act 2, Scene 4 sees the Duke overlooking the business of his likely partners and lords who he would have likely been related to due to his high position. Nevertheless, rather he listens to soft, romantic music, as in the first scene:

“Give me some music. Now, great morrow, pals …

That old and antique song we heard last night:

Me thought it did alleviate my passion much,”

Orsino blindly leads himself into a lifestyle of wallowing in his own anguish and self pity, while once again utilizing images of music and illness. This is considerable considering that this language technique is just significantly utilized throughout the comedy when Orsino’s melancholy love is present. Viola, a selfless fan also starts feeling sorrowful as she is also suffering for the love of Orsino, who she has a deep real appreciation for although she is not able screen her affection given that her entrapment in male guise. She does however, carefully tip:

“State that some girl, as maybe there is,

Hath for your love a fantastic a pang of heart

As you have for Olivia: you can not like her,

You tell her so; must she not then be answer ‘d?”

Viola questions the Duke enquiring whether he could like somebody who felt as highly about he as he provides for Olivia, whether he would return the love and if not what he would inform her. Orsino rejected that it was possible to like as much as he did:

“There is no women’s sides

Can bide the whipping of so strong a passion

As love doth give my heart …”

To an audience this would be paradoxical as they would understand of Viola’s love for the Duke and her real identity while he wouldn’t know the genuine situation or circumstances. Shakespeare’s use of significant irony provides wit and humour while the character is still talking truthfully. The focus on camouflage in Twelfth Night means that the comedy is full of remarkable irony. The image of passion violently beating somebody is stimulated by the metaphor ‘can bide the whipping of so strong an enthusiasm’ this is not a real description however works by making us imagine the painfully strong sensations Orsino thinks he has for Olivia.

The Duke sends Cesario to deliver Olivia a message nevertheless, Olivia is instantly attracted to Cesario which leaves Viola once again in a difficult situation as she is entrapped in her camouflage. This finishes the love triangle as Viola enjoys Orsino, Orsino loves Olivia and Olivia loves Cesario/Viola.

The sub plot of Twelfth Night or What You Will contains more amusing and comical scenes involving characters whose status is less than the likes of Olivia and Orsino and also two knights who seem to act mistakenly regardless of their positions. For the play to be a good comedy it needs to reveal human weaknesses, Shakespeare has done this especially in the sub plot by differing the level of compassion and self control in each character leaving their weaknesses easily recognizable.

To start with, we fulfill Maria, a chambermaid of Olivia, Sir Toby Belch, Olivia’s uncle and his pal Sir Andrew Aguecheek, two rowdy alcoholics. Sir Andrew hopelessly tries to court Woman Olivia but to no avail, once again we see representations of unrequited love and also courtly love. The discussion in between Maria and Sir Toby is spirited and dim-witted, regardless of its function to instruct and lecture Sir Toby, for the sake of Olivia. Sir Toby replies:

“Why let her other than, prior to excepted.”

The light-hearted wordplay can be seen as flirtatious as Sir Toby utilizes his wit to amuse and appeal Maria, although not explicitly informed, through Toby’s tone and language usage he can be plainly seen to have feelings for her. However, puzzlingly he advises Sir Andrew Aguecheek to confront Maria. Andrew is left puzzled at the significance of accost, the concentrate on charming and courtly love is another obvious kind of love. As Sir Andrew has fun with the words of Maria the friendly, humorous conversation starts to include sexual references, as Maria states ‘It’s dry’ she acquires the answer:

“… I can keep my hand dry.”

Bawdy, sexual referrals would have been happily accepted by the audience in Elizabethan theatres especially by the males, as in today’s society. The use of a metaphor leaves the context in which this is implied to be chosen by the audience. The flexibility of understanding is likewise real of the relationship in between the characters associated with the sub plot as they are able to communicate in different tones and about different subjects without in fact revealing any true feelings they might have about one another. Maria and Sir Toby can honestly flirt with each other and Sir Toby can insult Sir Andrew Aguecheek as he did when we were initially introduced calling him ‘Agueface’, Sir Toby in truth only wants to use Sir Andrew. This suggests how fragile and false relationships and relationship can be.

Malvolio is a character who appears to be unloved throughout the play he is neither enjoyed as a pal or enthusiast and the other characters show no compassion in evilly tricking him. His love for Olivia, is kept only as a fantasy. Malvolio is seen as a vain and pompous character whose just true love lies with himself. This self-love is seen by Olivia:

“O you are sick of self love, Malvolio”

This allegation sums up the view felt by the audience as he regularly ruins the enjoyable of the other members of the families in order to please himself. A letter forged by Maria, apparently from Olivia quickly results in more deceit in the play as Malvolio tries to make her favour by following the recommendations of dressing in yellow stockings and crossed garters, acting arrogantly, smiling continuously and declining to explain himself to anyone, it is his own self-conceit that triggers him to easily fall under the trap.

The sub-plot ultimately links with the main plot as a result of the appearance of Antonio and Viola’s twin brother, Sebastian, who is still alive but believes that his twin, Viola is dead. Sebastian’s friend Antonio seems to care deeply about Sebastian, possibly passionately and sexually, leading us to believe that he may well be homosexual as he follows his good friend to Illyria, in spite of being opponents with Orsino. Sir Andrew and Sir Toby, seeing Olivia’s increased attraction to Cesario choose to challenge Cesario to a duel. However, they incorrectly duel with Sebastian. The entryway of Olivia during the confusion causes additional bewilderment as Olivia proposes to Sebastian, believing that he is Cesario, Sebastian is baffled considering that he has never even met Woman Olivia prior to. Nevertheless, he accepts.

Since separating from Sebastion, Antonio is detained for an old criminal offense he dedicated, he pleads Cesario who he thinks is Sebastian for his bag that he had offered him. However, Cesario is puzzled at this and denies understanding Antonio, which holds true. Antonio cries out that Sebastian had betrayed him giving Viola brand-new hope that her sibling might be alive. These scenes are packed with significant paradox, certainly since the audience are the only people who understand that both of the twins live, and by the apparent confusion that the other characters are suffering, that no one can tell them apart. This perplexity causes the funny to be as bewildering as it is, possibly forecasting the ethical that nothing is as it seems. This can likewise be analyzed by the alternative title ‘or What You Will’

To have 5 acts in a play was standard of Elizabethan playwrights, Shakespeare has followed this convention in the play as we see the 5th and final act of Twelfth Night which exposes true sensations and identity, fixing each troublesome situation.

Feste’s behaviour at the start of Act5, Scene 1 suggests that he has still not forgiven Orsino for dismissing him and changing him for Fabian, a less witty and smart performer. His cheeky exclamation when being resolved as a buddy by Orsino is evident of this:

“the much better for my opponents and the worse for my friends”

This expression represents that truth can be various from what is expected; again one of the key morals of the play, an additional example of this is Feste’s sharp wit on the other hand with Orsino who is more placid and plain regardless of his noble status.

The entryway of Antonio escorted by Orsino’s officers sees an almost various Orsino to the previously sombre character. As the Duke remembers the sea-battle, this exposes Orsino to be a more intense and prominent individual, he acknowledges Antonio:

“besmeared as black as Vulcan in the smoke of war”

this simile makes Antonio sound wicked because black is an evil colour and likewise the metaphoric link to Vulcan, a vulgar, vicious God presents Antonio as a vicious immoral creature like Vulcan. Orsino now talks to more thought than his inattentive and egocentric speeches seen throughout the funny. When Olivia admits her love for Cesario, Orsino becomes angry implicating his page of betrayal and gives up Cesario in spite of loving him:

“I’ll sacrifice the lamb I like”

Once again the concern of homosexuality rises as Orsino professes his love to an individual he believes to be a man prior to the problem of sexuality can be stayed upon the play quickly advances. There is a great deal of remarkable paradox in this last scene which includes tension to the reunion of the twins. The audience understands that both twins are alive, yet, there is still anticipation present from the audience to discover whether the reality that Viola is female will finally be understood to the characters of the play. Also, Olivia has wed Sebastian, which the audience also understand, nevertheless, Olivia is declaring that she has wed Cesario, which Viola really understands nothing about, this scenario is humorous and ironic. Shakespeare had blended the elements of a tragedy and comedy. Shakespeare also utilized this situation, in order to illustrate the effective feelings felt by the characters.

Inevitably, the twins are reunited this solves the style of hidden identity. Viola regains her name as she discards her disguise, and is no longer caught. This allows her to take action on her love for the Duke.

Malvolio vengefully comes back, and is soon to be made angrier by the clown who buffoons him. Malvolio stays the very same throughout the play unloved other than by himself. The trick played upon him had actually failed in penalizing him for his vanity and conceit. Antonio also does not get anything at the end, although he might be forgiven for his past crimes. We are never ever informed whether Sir Andrew and Sir Toby regained their relationship after Sir Toby stopped Sir Andrew’s business.

Whereas, the Orsino and Viola had actually preserved their love for one another as had Olivia and Sebastian. The resolution for the 2 couples applied, romantic love for each of them. Orsino confirms with a positive declaration:

“Golden time …

However when in other practices you are seen

Orsino’s girlfriend and his fancy’s queen”

This rhyming couplet shows the real happiness that Orsino has found in contrast to the self-centered, melancholy lover, Orsino, until the last scene. It was typical of Shakespeare to make the official, conventional characters speak in rhyming couplets, previously Orsino’s high status had actually been shadowed by his sadness. Now he fills the role of the stereotypical character we would have first expected we can see his language adapts to the role.

On the other hand, the clown’s last song recommends that the future might not be as delighted as is hoped or presumed:

“for the rain it raineth every day”

The reference to rain suggests that the future might be stormy and not as bright as anticipated. Shakespeare would have purposefully ended the have fun with music, the exact same way as the play had actually begun. Almost certainly as a paradoxical message of enthusiastic happiness in light of Orsino’s start expression ‘if music be the food of love, play on’.

Conclusively, we can see that Shakespeare utilized language techniques such as metaphors, similes and rhyming couplets to reveal different types of love. Usually those characters connecting to enjoy spoke in verse while comical characters such as Feste and the 2 absurd knights spoke in prose.

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