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Use of Excessiveness in Twelfth Night
There are many methods to catching an audience's attention. Shakespeare for example, uses the method of excessiveness in his characters. Proof of this is shown in various forms throughout the novel, beginning with Orsino's obsessed love of Olivia. Then followed by Olivia's mourning for her long lost brother, and then her sudden change in interest. As well as thirdly, Viola's attitude of excess towards Orsino, we can see the method used for yet another time. The first Act jumps quickly into this form of excessiveness, drawing the reader into the novel, and gives personality to the characters.
The thought of somebody being in love with another, whom they have never met, and never spoken to, is pure insanity. This man is clearly infatuated with this woman to " an excess." He is a perfect example of excess, since he is the first to mention it, and shows it rather clearly in his actions towards Olivia. He sends her messengers, thinks about her all the time, and every move he makes, is somehow related to her, although she has no idea who he is.
Olivia herself, is another prime example of excess. Olivia shows it in two main ways starting with the mourning of her brother and father's death. Mourning, on a whole is a good normal thing, but in excess, (in this case, 7 years), is too much. She needs to move on with her life, and go on and do things, but she doesn't realize this until the spotting of Viola/Cesario, which brings me to her second way. Olivia becomes excessive over her/him, sending her messenger out to fetch him, just so she can see her/him again.
Our third of many examples of excess in this act, is Viola's love for Orsino. Instead of leaving the country she was brought to and go back home like any other person, she disguises as an eunuch, so she can work for him. She would do anything to make him happy, even help him get Olivia's love, just for him to notice her. I think that, qualifies for excessiveness in this play.
As you can tell, Shakespeare used many examples of excess in his writing, from the very start of the first scene.
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