Love and Deceit in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night Essay

Love and Deceit in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night Essay

Length: 1723 words (4.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview


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 Orsino. Viola cannot express her feelings for Orsino because Orsino thinks that Viola is a man. “She is engaged in the service of the Duke, whom she finds "fancy-sick" for the love of Olivia" (O'Connor). Shakespeare demonstrates that love is capable of causing misery by creating a love triangle in which Olivia falls in love with Viola/Cesario who is constantly bothered by Sir Andrew Aguecheek and Malvolio, who both love Olivia.
During the seventeenth century when Shakespeare was writing this play, homosexuality was looked down upon by society. However, this does not mean that Shakespeare could not shed any humor into the subject of homoerotism in Twelfth Night or What You Will. It is evident that Shakespeare means to make fun of gender with his characters such as Orsino and Olivia falling in love with Cesario, not knowing that Cesario is actually a female. "As Orsino's proxy, Viola is sent to Olivia with love letters. Viola refuses to budge until she is let in to see Olivia" (Pressley). Earlier in the play, Viola while dressed as Cesario, ha...


... middle of paper ...


...enttwelfthnight.html>.
Shakespeare, William. Twelfth Night Or What You Will. N.p.: Isaac Jaggard and Edward Blount, 1623. Print.
“Twelfth Night; Or, What You Will” [“Twelfth Night; Or, What You Will”]. bardweb.net. J.M.Pressley, n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2014. .
Williams, Porter, Jr. “Mistakes in Twelfth Night and Their Resolution: A Study in Some Relationships of Plot and Theme” [“Mistakes in Twelfth Night and Their Resolution: A Study in Some Relationships of Plot and Theme”]. Modern Language Association [New York City] June 1961, Volume 76: 193-99. www.jstor.com. Web. 5 Feb. 2014. .
Woodbridge, Linda. “Gender Ambiguity and Desire in Twelfth Night” [“Gender Ambiguity and Desire in Twelfth Night”]. Women and the English Renaissance: Literature and the Nature of Womankind: n. pag. Print.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Blindness of Love in Twelfth Night by Shakespeare Essay

- Blindness of Love in Twelfth Night by Shakespeare In the play "Twelfth Night" Shakespeare shows how anyone can be blinded by love and act so impulsively to satisfy their appetite for love, that often they fall in love with a façade rather then the person behind the disguise. Also Shakespeare also shows how people are apt to ignore the evidence that disproves the disguise they have fallen in love with. Almost all of the characters in "Twelfth Night" fell in love with a disguise; I will detail the confusing relationships and disguises used in the play to show the blindness of love....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
632 words (1.8 pages)

William Shakespeare 's Twelfth Night Essay

- Twelfth Night revolves heavily around the shipwreck plot device to split apart the siblings Viola and Sebastian, leading to the development of a bizarre love-triangle and a case of mistaken identity. Besides the rather literal importance of the sea as the driving force for the play’s plot, water appears to resonate as a recurring theme throughout many scenes; specifically, it becomes a living representation for the emotional status of various characters, and woven within the ebb and flow of the tides, qualities such as fate, grief, death (imagined or real), and reflection churn amongst the brackish waters of the play’s symbolic ocean....   [tags: Love, Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare]

Powerful Essays
1581 words (4.5 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]

Powerful Essays
1723 words (4.9 pages)

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]

Powerful Essays
1426 words (4.1 pages)

True Love in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night Essay

- True Love in Twelfth Night        Unlike the other characters in Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night", Viola's feelings of love are genuine. She is not mistaken about Orsino's true nature and loves him for who he really is, while the other characters in the play seem to be in love with an illusion. Viola's love for Orsino does not alter during the play, nor is it transferred to another person.   Viola, alone in a strange land, disguises herself as a man in order to gain access to Duke Orsino's palace....   [tags: Shakespeare Twelfth Night Essays]

Powerful Essays
1979 words (5.7 pages)

William Shakespeare 's Twelfth Night Essay

- Shakespearean plays are renown for their combination of comedy and drama that both engage the audience as well as entertains. The mood of The Twelfth Night sways between drama and comedy, like most of Shakespeare’s plays, which alter between the two realms of theatre to produce depth, and in this case, deception. Feste’s final song gives the impression of a darker mood that dampens the celebrations of love between the play’s characters in 5.1, in which he questions the meaning of love and if it even exists....   [tags: Love, Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare, Jester]

Powerful Essays
1370 words (3.9 pages)

Ongoing Theme of Love in William Shakespeare's Play Twelfth Night Essay

- The play Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare is a comedy with the ongoing theme of love. In the play we come to see that none of the relationships that develop are considered normal, or what we call true love because true love has no reason, often it just occurs without knowing. However if you consider the relationships in this play you can see that the characters are all searching for love or have a reason to find love. For example Malvolio needs Olivia’s love because this way he can gain status and wealth , Sir Andrew on the other hand wants Olivia’s love because this is what everyone has convinced him into thinking....   [tags: Twelfth Night]

Powerful Essays
737 words (2.1 pages)

William Shakespeare 's Twelfth Night Essay

- Introductory speeches in many Shakespeare plays can be a foreshadowing of what is to come. In William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth night,” we see a tremendous amount of monolog made by many different characters in many different acts. One monolog, in particular, gives the readers a hint or an impression of what goes on in the play itself. In the very first act in the play twelfth night, Duke Orsino’s introductory monolog uses diction, personification, and metaphor to show themes of desire and deception that are explored through the characters and the play in the larger play....   [tags: William Shakespeare, Love, Twelfth Night]

Powerful Essays
1499 words (4.3 pages)

William Shakespeare Objectifies Love in his Plays Essay

- William Shakespeare is known widely for his plays that dabble in comedy, tragedy, and most importantly, romance. Many of his plays incorporate more than one of these motifs. Throughout Shakespeare's plays, the characters and their dialogue give way to a cynical perspective on societal standards and views about love. In Twelfth Night, Shakespeare derides the societal conceptions of love and chastises the ideals and yearnings of the members of the society. Shakespeare uses irony, metaphors, and plot dynamics to display the immense confusion of mistaken identity which emphasizes the theme love can exist only if society values it....   [tags: twelfth night, shakespeare, love]

Powerful Essays
1544 words (4.4 pages)

Romantic Love in William Shakespeare's As You Like it and Twelfth Night

- Romantic Love in William Shakespeare's As You Like it and Twelfth Night The fickleness of romantic love is a major theme in William Shakespeare’s comedies As You Like It and Twelfth Night, or What You Will. Shakespeare’s implicit social commentary takes the fundamentally masculine perspective of romantic relationships, which argues that a clear-cut dichotomy exists between love and physical attraction. According to evolutionary psychological theory, females often tend to automatically associate the emotion of love with physicality and the physical act of sex because an emotional bond with a mate is necessary in order to establish a secure family unit....   [tags: Shakespeare You Like Twelfth Night Essays]

Powerful Essays
1537 words (4.4 pages)