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.
Olivia is easily the largest victim to love and disguise. Olivia quickly falls in love with Viola, who is disguised as "Cesario". Olivia realizes how far from manly "Cesario" is, he has very effeminate features and lack of any facial hair. Olivia disregards these features and believes that he maybe just a eunuch. Olivia is obviously blinded by love in this case for a number of reasons; she ignores the evidence that points to "Cesario" as actually being a female. Second she justifies his features as him just being a eunuch, but never really addresses the issue that she is in love with a eunuch who of course would never be able to sexually please her or give her children. Whether "Cesario" is really a woman or if he is a eunuch, the love that Olivia has is futile and unrealistic. When Sebastian, Viola's brother, encounters Olivia for the first time, she believes that this is "Cesario" and gains the courage to ask for his hand in marriage. Once again this is evidence of how blinded by love Olivia is, she believes that Sebastian is the person she is in love with when really he is a stranger and she disregards his comments about not knowing her. Later in...
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Orsino may be the only exception to my thesis because he looks past the disguise of "Cesario" and falls in love with Viola regardless of her dressing as a boy. When Orsino learns the "Cesario" is really Viola his actions though are pretty hasty. Orsino gives no second thought to the fact that he has fallen in love with a woman while she was disguised as a man. Orsino is mostly happy because now his love can be accepted and Viola, who also loves him, can happily marry.
In conclusion the characters in "Twelfth Night" are very quick to fall in love with the surface disguise of a person rather than looking any further and questioning their love. Also the characters often disregard any evidence that destroys the disguise they love. Although this practice may often be very shortsighted in the time frame of the play most of the characters are happy at the end.
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