Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare: The Jocular Struggle in Life Essay

Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare: The Jocular Struggle in Life Essay

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Shakespeare, known for his observations of humanity, creates the Twelfth Night story-line based on love. Regardless of whether love is blind or foolish, it gives humanity a purpose to live for. Akin to a wrapped up present eager to be opened, love is the cryptic feeling that motivates young doters to experience this emotion. However, this infatuation eludes the characters in Twelfth Night from seeing what dolts they have become due to this feeling. While the characters struggle through their quest to find love, the audience becomes aware of the foolishness and comedic nature of human struggles. This is why Shakespeare's “joyous plays” are “compounded with sadnesses of its characters”(Foster). In Twelfth Night, the theme of latent legitimacy accumulates into a complex quest to discover self-morality, resulting in a colossal confusion of identity and love formed by all characters who eventually benefit from their comical quest. Through the use of symbolism, metaphors, and irony, William Shakespeare attempts to emphasize the idea that love constructs identity as identity subsequently constructs morality, ultimately proving that love is blind therefore humanity is blind.
The quests to find morality through love occurs for all the characters, however it stands out for Viola, Olivia, Malvolio and Orsino. Symbols represented mostly by objects seen as gifts such as letters, jewelry, and eyes are used as a boon for these characters. Although the idea of gifts brings out a positive connotation towards the beholder, in reality, gifts can either improve or deteriorate the beholder much like love. The fake letter sent to Malvolio deceives him into thinking his mistress loves him. “This simulation is not as the former” Malvolio said “and yet...


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Schalkwyk, David. “In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:.” Love and Service in Twelfth Night and the Sonnets 56.1 (2005): 76-100. muse.jhu.edu. Web. 24 Feb. 2014. .
Shakespeare, William. “Twelfth Night.” VOLUME I BOOK XIV. Vols. 1 I. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. www.apps.cis-edu.dk. Web. 24 Feb. 2014. .
“’Twelfth Night’ and the Morality of Indulgence.” The Sewanee Review 67.2 (1959): 220-38. JSTOR. Web. 24 Feb. 2014. .

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