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. Antonio’s love for Sebastian grows to obsession; however Sebastian considers their friendship to be completely plutonic. In addition Sebastian generally tries to save Antonio from his own desire; however he does a bad job by leading him on unintentionally due to his passive nature. Antonio is so mesmerized by Sebastian’s beauty that he states, “If you will not murder me for my love, let me be your servant” (2.1.35).Antonio is becoming obsessed with Sebastian and cannot stand the idea of not spending time with him, that he begs him to let him be his servant so he can accompany Sebastian and serve him in any way possible. His desire to serve Sebastian comes from his obsession with him. Antonio extreme obsession for Sebastian stems from the Elizabethan connection between good looks and a good soul. Sebastian tries to prevent this firm devotion but pleads with Antonio: “Crave[s] of [his] leave, that [he] may bear [his] evils alone”(2.1.5-6).(Insert Analysis for the previous quote). Sebastian advises Antonio to “Fare ye well at once”(2.1.39) in an effort to prevent him any injury that Sebastian’s venture might bring. After hearing this Antonio is still adamant about attending Orsino’s court as well; “B...
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...d offers to fight for Cesario, mistaking him for Sebastian. When caught by the Count’s officers, he asks Cesario for the return of some money he lent Sebastian, but of course Cesario has no idea who he is. Believing himself betrayed he soon hates who he used to love.
It is hard to determine between love and lust and how it still is not evident if Antonio was meant to be gay or if he was simply in love with Sebastian's beauty, his feminine beauty as was Orsino with Cesario beauty. In conclusion the character Sebastian had female qualities such as his passive nature that attracts Antonio to him. Passiveness that attracted Antonio to him ,but it was these qualities that Antonio loved that caused him to get his heart broken.
Shakespeare, William. Twelfth Night Or, What You Will. New York, New York: New American Library, 1998. Print.
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