The Language of Love in Twelfth Night

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Language of Love Throughout the history of literature and writing, love has been one of few constant human experiences and themes. Love can be expressed, viewed, and taken in many different ways. According to Webster’s Dictionary, the term love is defined as, “a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person; attraction that can include sexual desire or the strong affection felt by people who have a romantic relationship; and/or a warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion” (Webster). It is difficult to decipher an exact meaning of love or situation where love is shown since this word has such a broad definition. In Shakespeare’s play, Twelfth Night, love is expressed frequently and in quite a specific way. Particularly, throughout this play, Shakespeare acknowledges three types of love: true love, love for one’s self, and friendship. Many fall victim to the skewed perception of love when believing things are always bright, happy, jolly, and keen, strictly between a man and woman; when in actuality love gives rise to hardships, pain, and suffering as well. There are vast amounts of ways love can be expressed, which is why characters of Twelfth Night may have experienced confusion and misunderstanding of their feelings. Shakespeare takes this play and intertwines the many ways love can be expressed and felt and connects it to fascinating truths about human nature and human relationships. He helps readers differentiate honest love from phony love amongst romantic relationships, family relationships, and friendships as well. Many playwrights have composed pieces on the theme of love due to the immense power it carries and the dominance it has over peoples lives. Arguably, this power and dominance love evokes can be shown when r... ... middle of paper ... ...ereotypical idea and definition of love is tested when characters are forced to deal with the depth of love and the different situations love can surface from. Works Cited 1. Charles, Casey. "Gender Trouble in Twelfth Night." Theatre Journal 49.2 (1997): 121-41. Print. 2. Stone, James W. Crossing Gender in Shakespeare: Feminist Psychoanalysis and the Difference within. New York: Routledge, 2010. Print. 3. Thomas, Catherine. "Nunn's Sweet Transvestite: Desiring Viola in Twelfth Night." Journel of Popular Culture. Blackwell, n.d. Web. 4. Biewer, Carolin. "The Semantics of Passion in Shakespeare's Comedies: An Interdisciplinary Study." Saved from Http://*. Routledge, Oct. 2007. Web. 27 Feb. 2014. 5. Lindheim, Nancy. "Rethinking Sexuality and Class in Twelfth Night." University of Toronto Quarterly 76.2 (2007): n. pag. Web.
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