Viola and Orsino in Twelfth Night In William Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" there are several relationships that develop throughout the play. Among the many. Viola. On your attendance, my lord; here. Orsino. Stand you a while aloof, Cesario, Thou know'st no less but all; I have unclasp'd. To thee the book even of my. May 12, Viola's relationship with Orsino, and the realization of mutual love after her identity is revealed, epitomizes VIOLA About your years, my lord.
Where the rest of the characters love is fickle, hers is steadfast. She is the only one who seems to be genuinely in love. She also loves her brother deeply, and he reciprocates the same love.
Orsino and Olivia essentially end up marrying male and female versions of the same person. He does not love her though; he loves her position of power. He has a strong desire to rise above his social status, and sees Olivia as the way to do it.
Malvolio is stuffy, serious, and obviously in love with himself. He is very proud, and though he is only a steward, sets himself high above the rest of the people in the household. He daydreams about running the house, and ordering everyone else around. His pride causes him to be extremely gullible, because he never doubts for a second that Olivia is in love with him.
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Malvolio deserves the humiliation that he gets, but his punishment is excessive and does not fit with the crime. He is locked in a dark room and everyone tries to convince him that he is mad.
The audience feels sorry for him, because he is thoroughly mistreated. Malvolio seems to be the character in the play that has to suffer so that everyone else can be joyous; telling us that even fantasy worlds like Illyria are not perfect because there is still someone suffering.
The comedians in the play, Maria and Sir Toby strike up a relationship built upon friendly love. During the play, Sir Toby often admires Maria, who is his partner in crime.
They are both very clever, so they make a perfect match. Her friend, Sir Toby, was continually impressed with her mastery of mischief. They are close cohorts throughout the play, so it is no surprise when they elope at the end.
Sir Toby and Maria do express a bit of remorse about their joke on Malvolio going too far, so they are forgiven and allowed to share in the happy ending.
There is also a very close friendship between Sebastian, and his rescuer, Antonio.
Antonio professes his love for Sebastian, and foolishly gives away all of his money. He follows Sebastian into a town where he will surely face danger, because he cannot stand to be away from Sebastian. Unfortunately, it is made clear that this kind of homosexual love is not welcome in the world of Illyria, where everyone pairs off in traditional marriages.
Love as Comedic Energy: Viola and Orsino, Twelfth Night II.iv
Antonio is abandoned by Sebastian at the end of the play, and like Malvolio, there is no happy ending or resolution for him. Shakespeare makes it clear that this sort of love, like self-love, does not have a place in Illyria. Shakespeare explores every facet of love, which is a universal emotion. It is an integral part of human life, and it is something that everyone can relate to. It is a song about growing up and discovering the harshness of life.
We learn from Shakespeare that love does not conquer all obstacles, and not everyone gets a happy, fairy tale ending.
The exchanges between Viola and Orsino offer a tantalizing morsel of hope to both the audience and their heroine. Not only does Viola exhibit the kind of conscious understanding of her own feelings and situation that is persistently lacking in Olivia and Orsino, but she is able to rationally accept her inability to change either her feelings or her situation and the pain that this inability may cause her.
Say that some lady, as perhaps there is. Hath for your love a great pang of heart As you have for Olivia: She seeks to prevent him from being hurt in the only context she understands — that of her own apparently bleak situation. Although love is undeniably a powerful force of change in Twelfth Night, it is not the concealed grief of Viola which is active in crossing the barriers of gender, closed mindsets and convention in her relationship with Orsino.
Only in this situation of confusion can a love such as that which Orsino and Viola develop be realized. The scene in Act II is therefore crucial, not just to establish the closeness which has developed between the two characters, but also to establish this sense of disorder — the necessary first stage.
One of the most significant emblems of anarchy is that of the objectivity of truth which Viola embodies in her disguise. Through this falsity, she is able to show her true feelings, as if her love itself were a blend of truth and imagination, like the loves of Orsino and Olivia.
Only in this environment of confused gender, identity and genre can this love be conveyed. We have never seen such a world.
The scene marks the first time in the play the Duke shows real sympathy for the suffering of someone other than himself, although he is unaware that it is actually Viola with whom he is sympathizing. Almost unbeknownst to one another, the interaction between Viola and Orsino as they discuss a love that transcends gender suggests that a bond has formed between them that is inherently separate from both their relationship as master and servant and the passion which Viola feels for Orsino as a man.Twelfth Night Extract
This growing bond proves more powerful than the old myths of love to which the Duke adheres, and the result is a connection of the mind between emotional equals.