She has lost contact with her twin brother, Sebastian, whom she believes to be drowned and with the aid of the Captain, she disguises herself as a young man under the name Cesario, and enters the service of Duke Orsino. Duke Orsino has convinced himself that he is in love with Olivia, who is mourning the recent deaths of her father and brother. She refuses to see entertainments, be in the company of men, or accept love or marriage proposals from anyone, the Duke included, until seven years have passed.
Melancholy Themes and Colors LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Twelfth Night, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.
Every major character in Twelfth Night experiences some form of desire or love.
Duke Orsino is in love with Olivia. Viola falls in love with Orsino, while disguised as his pageboy, Cesario. Olivia falls in love with Cesario. This love triangle is only resolved when Olivia falls in love with Viola's twin brother, Sebastian, and, at the last minute, Orsino decides that he actually loves Viola.
Twelfth Night derives much of its comic force by satirizing these lovers. For instance, Shakespeare pokes fun at Orsino's flowery love poetry, making it clear that Orsino is more in love with being in love than with his supposed beloveds. At the same time, by showing the details of the intricate rules that govern how nobles engage in courtship, Shakespeare examines how characters play the "game" of love.
Twelfth Night further mocks the main characters' romantic ideas about love through the escapades of the servants. Malvolio's idiotic behavior, which he believes will win Olivia's heart, serves to underline Orsino's own only-slightly-less silly romantic ideas.
Meanwhile, Sir Andrew Aguecheek, Sir Toby Belch, and Maria, are always cracking crass double entendres that make it clear that while the nobles may spout flowery poetry about romantic love, that love is at least partly motivated by desire and sex.
Shakespeare further makes fun of romantic love by showing how the devotion that connects siblings Viola and Sebastian and servants to masters Antonio to Sebastian and Maria to Olivia actually prove more constant than any of the romantic bonds in the play.
How often theme appears:William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night is a comedy, first published in Love is a key aspect of Shakespeare’s comedies in which self-identity is found through the development of love from infatuation to acknowledgement of character.
Twelfth Night study guide contains a biography of William Shakespeare, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. Twelfth Night study guide contains a biography of William Shakespeare, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
Study Guides Q & A. Essay on William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night Words | 14 Pages. William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night In Act 1, scenes , there are many ways to which .
Twelfth Night – William Shakespeare; Olivia loves Cesario. Cesario’s really a woman disguised as a man who’s fallen for her boss, Orsino. Love, and a little mischief, throws everyone for a loop in this comic jaunt of misdirected desire.
Where music is the food of love, and nobody is quite what they seem, anything proves possible. A summary of Act I, scenes i–ii in William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.
Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Twelfth Night and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.
Analysis: Act I, scenes i–ii.