Essay about William Shakespeare 's Twelfth Night

Essay about William Shakespeare 's Twelfth Night

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This is the first oration of “Twelfth Night,” spoken by Orsino. Because he is the first person to speak, I assume that he is going to be an important character-- possibly the protagonist. The content of his monologue is also very significant, as it is probably foreshadowing what will become an underlying message of the play. Orsino enjoys the sweet love-music and requests more and more until he cannot stand it any longer. Nothing about the music has changed, but somehow Orsino’s perception of it has become negative. Before he requests more music he even states that he knows his “appetite” will eventually “die,” yet he asks for more anyway. This is an obvious allusion to love. People know that nearly all relationships will not end as they want or expect; despite this, they continue to actively seek out love. I predict that this phenomenon will occur between characters in this play. However, this play is considered to be one of Shakespeare’s comedies. This means that whatever romantic relationships occur will not end tragically, like in “Romeo and Juliet,” but rather in a light and humorous manner.
Viola sees outwardly good traits in the captain, so she trusts him enough to ask him to disguise her so that she can work for Orsino. She knows that trustworthy exterior traits often conceal a deceitful interior, yet she chooses to ignore this in the captain. This is ironic, because she aims to deceive someone else with her own dishonest outward appearance! The absurdity of it all is overwhelming.
I believe that this speech serves a similar purpose to Orsino’s introduction to the play in that it sets a theme for the story. The concept of deception will no doubt arise often throughout the play. The captain may be deceiving her with h...


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... this absurd comedy. Perhaps he is a foil to another character in this play.
Olivia seems to have a good bit of wit to her! Viola, in an attempt to seduce Olivia on behalf of Orsino, tells her that she would be evil to not have children to carry on her divine beauty. Not only is this a flattering comment, but it also is sexually suggestive. It is Orsino/Cesario indirectly offering themselves as a suitable reproductive partner. Despite what Malvolio may say about her intelligence, Olivia is sharp enough to catch the double meaning of this sly comment. Her reply is dripping with sarcasm as she says she will document her beauty for future generation by making an itemized list of her attractive features.
Viola seems to be doing a pretty bang-up job at seducing Olivia on behalf of Orsino. Her primary technique, as evidenced here, is to make grand romantic statements.

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