Types of Love exposed in Twelfth Night Essay

Types of Love exposed in Twelfth Night Essay

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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. Four different types of love are mentioned throughout the Bible; for example, "eros", meaning sensual love. Throughout Twelfth Night, Shakespeare tries to understand love using these early ideas. Humphrey Tonkin explains a quote by Jan Kott when he states, “Jan Kott speaks of the 'erotic delirium' of the play – the merging of types of love, of gender, of love and friendship, 'the metamorphoses of sexless.'” This further supports that love is not one entity but rather many sub-categories that describe its specific meaning. Love is a mysterious and complex force that manifests itself in many different forms based on a person's wants and needs. These material and intangible cravings directly correlate with fitting in or molding to society; whether it be authoritative power, the need for self acceptance, or a desire for passion and love. Shakespeare conveys this through the use of diction and underlying tones.
The desire for self acceptance and acceptance from others is shown through the characterization of two characters in particular - Orsino and Sebastian. By showing how rapidly the characters fall in love, which is merely lust, exposes their vulnerability and desire to mold to the ideal of their society...


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“The Different Kinds of Love Mentioned in the Bible.” United Church of God. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2014. .
Lindheim, Nancy. “Rethinking Sexuality and Class in Twelfth Night.” Rethinking Sexuality and Class in Twelfth Night: n. pag. Print.
“Literary Analysis Love as a Major Theme of Twelfth Night by Shakespeare.” Humanities 360. Dr Ronnie Bai, n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2014. .
Shakespear Reseach Center. J. M. Pressley, 1 Jan. 2014. Web. 20 Feb. 2014. .
“Speeches (Lines) for Orsino in ‘Twelfth Night.’” Open Source Shakespear. Ed. George Mason University. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2

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