The Language of Love in Twelfth Night Essay

The Language of Love in Twelfth Night Essay

Length: 1992 words (5.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

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.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Types of Love exposed in Twelfth Night Essay

- The Merriam Webster dictionary defines love as “a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person” - however, this does not encompass a fraction of the feeling a person has when he or she loves something. Because the sensation differs from one person to the next, there is no possible way to accurately define love. However, it is possible to try to understand love by breaking it down into several categories. Humans have been pondering this idea for centuries, with one of the earliest examples being found in the Christian Bible....   [tags: twelfth night, shakespeare, love, orsino]

Term Papers
1426 words (4.1 pages)

Love and Deceit in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night Essay

- Love, quite an indescribable word, has such an impact upon people as to cause deceit and overall confusion in every relationship. In Will Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night or What You Will, Shakespeare attempts to have a great balance of both cruelty and joy while also containing comical qualities to this romantic play. Throughout Twelfth Night or What You Will, Shakespeare uses puns with characters such as Viola to cross-dress and change their identity. "She attires herself in the disguise of a page, as the best protection against uncivil comments, till she can gain some tidings of her brother" (O'Connor) while Viola is disguising herself as a boy, she falls in love with her employer, Duke...   [tags: Twelfth Night Essays]

Term Papers
1723 words (4.9 pages)

Analyzing Themes in William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night Essay

- William Shakespeare, an English writer in the seventeenth century. He is considered to be the most influential writer in English literature. He wrote various genres, but the common types he wrote were: Tragedies, Comedies, and Histories. Among the many plays he wrote he wrote one his most famous play, “Twelfth Night”, which he wrote during the middle of his career. “Twelfth Night” is considered to be one of Shakespeare’s greatest comedies that he has written. In addition to it is also the only play that he wrote that has an alternate title which is called, “Twelfth Night, or What You Will”....   [tags: Twelfth Night]

Term Papers
1477 words (4.2 pages)

More than Friends William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night Essay

- William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, which is commonly believed to criticize society’s romanticized idea of love, demonstrates that even though love may seem unachievable, it is still possible to find it even in the most unlikely places. Shakespeare illustrates this idea in Twelfth Night through the characters Antonio and Sebastian by subtly suggesting that Antonio and Sebastian are more than just friends. It is Sebastian’s physical beauty that attracts Antonio to him, which leads him to devote himself to Sebastian as a sign of love....   [tags: Shakespeare, Twelfth Night]

Term Papers
978 words (2.8 pages)

The Fool as a Playwright in Twelfth Night Essay

-           Feste, the fool character in Twelfth Night, in many ways represents a playwright figure, and embodies the reach and tools of the theater. He criticizes, manipulates and entertains the other characters while causing them to reflect on their life situations, which is similar to the way a playwright such as Shakespeare interacts with his audience. Furthermore, more so than the other characters in the play he accomplishes this in a highly performative way, involving song and clever wordplay that must be decoded, and is thus particularly reflective of the mechanisms at the command of the playwright....   [tags: Twelfth Night Essays]

Term Papers
2845 words (8.1 pages)

Gender Roles in Twelfth Night Essay

- Born on approximately April 23, 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, William Shakespeare is considered by many to have been the greatest writer the English language has ever known. His literary legacy included 37 plays, 154 sonnets, and five major poems. Among his many plays is the notable, Twelfth Night, a romantic comedy, placed in a festive atmosphere in which three couples are brought together happily. The play opens with Orsino, the Duke of Illyria, expressing his deep love for the Countess Olivia....   [tags: William Shakespeare Twelfth Night]

Term Papers
2141 words (6.1 pages)

Essay on Feste in William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night

- Feste in William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night In William Shakespeare's comedy Twelfth Night, it is ironic how many times the fool is said to be dishonest, when, in fact, his role proves entirely opposite. Though sometimes the characters do not realize his hidden messages, the reader can instantly comprehend Feste's figurative language, which is evident in every scene in which the fool appears. Whether he is singing to Orsino, arguing with Malvolio, or playing around with Viola, Feste always manages to sneak in a few symbolic foretokens before his exit....   [tags: William Shakespeare Twelfth Night Essays]

Term Papers
1065 words (3 pages)

The Aspects of Love in Twelfth Night Essay

- The Aspects of Love in Twelfth Night The main theme in Twelfth Night is love. It is announced at the beginning of the play ‘If music be the food of love play on’ and from this you know that love will be a main aspect in Twelfth Night. In Elizabethan time ‘love’ as we know it today was very different. You could not love anyone outside of your social status, marriages were almost always arranged on how the social status could improve the current standing of one partner i.e....   [tags: Papers]

Term Papers
631 words (1.8 pages)

Twelfth Night Essays

- In Shakespeare’s play, Twelfth Night or What you Will, the characters are involved in a plot complete with trickery, disguise, and love. Each character is defined not by his or her gender or true identity, but by the role they are forced to take because of the complicated situation that arises. Unlike their gender, the speech the characters give an insight to their true personalities. In the Twelfth Night, the character Duke Orsino uses flowery and over-dramatic language, long poetic sentence structure, and melodramatic metaphors to display his overemotional romantic nature despite the different emotions in his various speeches....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Shakespeare]

Term Papers
967 words (2.8 pages)

The Theme of Love in William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night Essay

- The Theme of Love in William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night In Twelfth Night, Shakespeare focuses strongly on the theme of love; romantic love, friendship, brotherly and sisterly love, unrealistic love and self-love. In this essay I am going to explore these aspects and write about the different sides of love in the play, such as humour and suffering. We find that in Twelfth Night love is a very complicated thing and confusion often occurs. At the beginning of the play we find Orsino talking dramatically of his love for Olivia but actually seems to be in love with the idea of love itself....   [tags: Papers]

Term Papers
1003 words (2.9 pages)