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Compare Orsino And Olivia, And Discuss How Their Attitudes About Strong Emotions Are Similar. What Does Shakespeare Suggest About The Nature Of Love In His Portrayal Of These Two Characters?

1099 words - 5 pages

In the dramedy "Twelfth Night", William Shakespeare presents to us the many different aspects of love and its effects. All the characters in the play are, in one way or another, intertwined in a relationship or committed to a bond of trust. In a story teeming with humor and melancholy, both Orsino and Olivia stand out as perfect examples of how romance can be so influential and overpowering in one's life. It is therefore interesting to note the similarities in their attitudes towards love and other strong emotions. In the following paragraphs, I will attempt to explore these phenomena and uncover the true message behind these intricacies.At the start of the play, Orsino can be seen pining ...view middle of the document...

However, love has transformed Orsino into a self-pitying, affected and restless being. He displays none of the much-vaunted characteristics of a nobleman. The feeling of love overwhelms Orsino to the point that he spends so much time just thinking about her, stressing his mind to manufacture a string of beautiful words to describe Olivia's unparalleled beauty. Even when one of his stewards Valentine has told him how Olivia will " like a cloistress, veiled walk" and "the element itself, till seven years' heat, shall not behold her face at ample view", Orsino is still so persistent in his love for her that he is encouraged by this piece of news. He is impressed by Olivia's undying love for her deceased brother, and wonders in amazement if only he can make her fall in love with him, then she will doubtless love him with all her "liver, brain and heart".Olivia is also greatly influenced in her demeanor after she finds herself falling in love with Cesario. After her little tête-à-tête with Cesario, which incidentally, is her first time coming up face to face with Cesario, Olivia then spoke of how "thy tongue, thy face, thy limbs, actions, and spirit do give thee fivefold blazon" and how "so quickly may one catch the plague?". Considering that it was her first encounter with Cesario, it is peculiar and at the same time absurd for Olivia to say such things. She is attracted by Cesario's astute physical appearance and the way Cesario speaks with such zest and confidence. Wishing that Cesario would come back to hold audience with her again, Olivia then sent Malvolio to pass a ring to her, on the pretext of Cesario's carelessness to have left it behind. The incident that greatly magnifies the influence love has played on Olivia is one when Olivia confesses her love to Cesario. She spoke directly to her, commenting...

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