Orsino Twelfth Night Analysis

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This is the first oration of “Twelfth Night,” spoken by Orsino. Because he is the first person to speak, I assume that he is going to be an important character-- possibly the protagonist. The content of his monologue is also very significant, as it is probably foreshadowing what will become an underlying message of the play. Orsino enjoys the sweet love-music and requests more and more until he cannot stand it any longer. Nothing about the music has changed, but somehow Orsino’s perception of it has become negative. Before he requests more music he even states that he knows his “appetite” will eventually “die,” yet he asks for more anyway. This is an obvious allusion to love. People know that nearly all relationships will not end as they…show more content…
In a matter of only 3 days, he has “unclasped / To [Cesario] the book even of [his] secret soul”. His justification for having such affection is that Cesario looks a lot like a young woman. He compares Cesario to the goddess Diama, compliments his rosy lips, and notes his ladylike voice. Because, of course, how is it possible for a manly man like Orsino to feel mushy-gushy affection feelings for someone who isn’t a fair maiden? Such is fragile masculinity! This is also why he feels he can send Cesario to woo Olivia. The depressed young woman will trust Cesario because he is young, approachable, and womanly. It is impossible to deny that Orsino is attracted to Cesario in a very peculiar way. Viola’s plan appears to be working so far, but I wonder how she plans to reveal her true identity to him. Right now Orsino is in love with Olivia, or rather the idea of Olivia because he is too self-absorbed to do anything about it himself. He also feels a deep kinship for Cesario, but Cesario is just a façade. It is foolish for Viola to think that Orsino could ever truly love…show more content…
Viola, in an attempt to seduce Olivia on behalf of Orsino, tells her that she would be evil to not have children to carry on her divine beauty. Not only is this a flattering comment, but it also is sexually suggestive. It is Orsino/Cesario indirectly offering themselves as a suitable reproductive partner. Despite what Malvolio may say about her intelligence, Olivia is sharp enough to catch the double meaning of this sly comment. Her reply is dripping with sarcasm as she says she will document her beauty for future generation by making an itemized list of her attractive

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