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Twelfth Night - There is More Than One Way to Love!

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Many people know what love is, the strong affection that one feels for another. But there are numerous different kinds of love. Shakespeare expresses diverse degrees of love in his play Twelfth Night, especially through his main characters. For example, Lady Olivia seems to not be able to let go of the one she loves, Cesario and seems dreadfully desperate for him. Similarly, a very egotistical love is shown through the character Duke Orsino, who insists that he cannot love any other woman than the Lady Olivia when it is obvious that he loves being in love, rather than loving Olivia. On the contrary, Viola is in the position where, unlike Duke Orsino and Lady Olivia, she cannot confess her love for the Duke although she is the only one that is truly in love. Shakespeare uses his characters as tools to explore and display the diversities of love, and proves that everyone loves in different ways.

Shakespeare utilizes Lady Olivia to display desperate and emotionally attached love, as she cannot let her love, Cesario, leave her sight, nor her heart. Olivia wants to believe that she has a chance with Cesario, (a eunuch that is actually disguised) so she gives herself assurance. When Cesario simply sympathizes to Olivia’s confession of her love for him by saying, “I pity you” (3.1.113), it seems like Olivia immediately answers, “That’s a degree to love”! (3.1.114). Olivia is so desperate for Cesario! Her seemingly immediate answer shows that she will take whatever Cesario says and will twist it around to her advantage so that in her thoughts, Cesario does love her. Similarly, Olivia does not want to let Cesario leave when he comes, which shows she is emotionally attached to him. In Act 1, Scene 5, Olivia and Cesario first ...

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... to and sympathize with.

It is now clear that Shakespeare shows how there is more than one way to love, either loving a person or loving love itself in his play, Twelfth Night. Olivia burdens Cesario with information that she does not want to let him go because then she will not be able to look at him to feast her eyes. Orsino is rather proud that he knows how to love and enjoys sharing this piece of information to all of the people around him in the form of his moaning. Viola, differently, is having a hard time keeping in her love for Orsino and has to fight against her own disguise. All in all, Olivia, Orsino and Viola each have similarities and differences in the types of love they express. The characters are all having some extent of a hard time with their love (a conflict they overcome,) but they express their love in diverse ways to those around them.
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