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Twelfth Night Analysis


Love vs. Desire and Desire (The Twelfth Night) Love and lust can typically be misinterpreted for each other by unsuspecting and ignorant characters. In William Shakespeare’s The Twelfth Night a majority of the characters experience finding out the distinction in between whether desire is the same as love or if they are simply delighting in somebody’s looks only.

The concern of desire being overpowered by love is something that has been deeply looked at by literary critics to try to figure out. The start of the story starts with Viola and her twin sibling Sebastian getting into a shipwreck where Viola believes that her brother has drowned and been lost at sea.

She reveals a massive quantity of love in those very first few minutes when she realizes that he is gone. No love is ever greater than family love because it is the most pure form of love. Viola, out of self-preservation, takes a task in the house of the Duke Orsino and becomes his messenger to his love Olivia. Olivia is a vain lady who is also grieving her bro’s death and refuses to see Orsino or listen to his marriage proposals. As a various tack, Orsino sends out Viola, impersonated Cesario, to try to court Olivia for him. This is not enjoy that Orsino is feeling. Unrequited, melancholic love magnifies this process: it is self-consuming, as Orsino is pursued and consumed by his own desires.” (Eagleton) As Eagleton alludes he is merely drawn in to Olivia’s appeal and power. The method he acts towards her does personify that he loves her, but he only compliments her appeal and virtue in his poems. He alludes to only wanting her since she is what is seen as the most desirable woman around his land. “Crazily, Orsino would enjoy a lady who he understands loves herself. However whereas he shrewdly thinks the true condition of his girl’s affection, he is blind to the comparable makeup of his own passion. (Hunt) This proving of desire is combated by the showings from Viola of love for Orsino. She picks to do as he asks and help him court Olivia despite the fact that she is a lady in disguise and enjoys Orsino herself. This is a sacrifice that might quickly be revealed as a sign of true love for Orsino. Viola’s showing of love is something to be taken a look at better. She has not known Orsino for more than a day when she starts to love him, yet she is willing to sacrifice her own happiness to assist create a marriage between Orsino and Olivia.

She could be seen as ignorant and hopeful, however she appears wiser than that if analyzed more detailed. “Viola is then drawn within this illusion, through her adoption of an illusion of camouflage to additional her real goal of serving Orsino; she is made to act the part of one star (Orsino) to another actor (Olivia) in a manner which disputes with her own authentic identity (her love of Orsino).” (Eagleton) Orsino likewise trusts Viola, as Cesario, totally. He entrusts her with his hopes and his most intimate errands. “Orsino is caught at a transitional minute in love’s transformation. He covertly takes pleasure in Viola’s womanly appeal while the page identity–“Cesario”– offers him an excuse for not recognizing the threatening natural opposite to himself– an opposite that in reality complements him.” (Hunt) Orsino sees Viola (Cesario) as someone he can trust and feel strangely drawn to. This could be a sense of desire compelling him or the nature of real love in its purer kind. Through the start of the story Viola’s love for Orsino grows only to see Orsino’s love for Olivia continue consistent. This is all interrupted when Viola’s sibling, Sebastian, is exposed as alive and in the same city.

Olivia, who has actually been courting Cesario (Viola), mistakes Sebastian for Cesario and encourages him to marry her. This can just be another example of the feeble yet strong significance put on physical attraction between 2 strangers to develop a feeling of love that is deeply rooted in lust. Olivia discovered Cesario’s cool behavior to her to be rejuvenating and the somewhat feminine build to be attractive. “The consequence of Viola’s getting in the reciprocal illusion of Orsino and Olivia is the creation in Olivia of a truth– her love for Viola– which breaks beyond the illusion and yet is similarly illusory– she does not understand that Viola is a woman. (Eagleton) Olivia’s love for Cesario is a little bit more genuine than Orsino’s love for Olivia because Olivia takes pleasure in Cesario’s business and temperament as strictly opposed to his appearances. When Olivia finds out that Sebastian is her partner and not Cesario, she is still pleased despite the mix up. Orsino’s changing of his love from Olivia to Viola so easily and efficiently is a sign that he might not truly understand the true nature of love at all. Orsino may only actually know the way of desire and lust.

Viola ignores this and weds Orsino with no hesitation since she enjoys him. Orsino refers to Viola as “his fancy’s Queen” indicating that he truly cares for her on a level deeper than merely her appearances which he has not had the ability to see in her manly disguise. The ending of the story concerns every couple marrying the person they appear the most happy with, however it’s highly questionable if they like the person they have selected or if they simply have selected someone they like.? Work Cited

Eagleton, Terence. “Language and Reality in Twelfth Night.” Crucial Quarterly 9. 3 (Fall 1967): 217-228. Rpt. in Shakespearean Criticism. Ed. Dana Ramel Barnes and Marie Lazzari. Vol. 34. Detroit: Wind Research Study, 1997. Literature Resource Center. Web. 19 Feb. 2013. Hunt, Maurice. “Love, Disguise, and Knowledge in Twelfth Night.” CLA Journal 32. 4 (June 1989): 484-493. Rpt. in Shakespearean Criticism. Ed. Michelle Lee. Vol. 92. Detroit: Windstorm, 2005. Literature Resource Center. Web. 19 Feb. 2013.

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