The complications mentioned in this statement are Shakespeare’s device to convey to us how only true love wins through (E. g. Viola’s constancy and steadfast love), and how the other kinds of love only deceive us and fail, such as Malvolio’s self-love (“o you are sick of self-love Malvolio”). Shakespeare also takes into account the stereotypical views held many in Elizabethan England of how a males love is perhaps greater than the females. He defies this belief through this comical scene in Act II scene IV.
Orisino tells Cesario/Viola how “There is no woman sides can bide the beating of so strong a passion. As love doth give my heart: no woman’s heart so big, to hold so much”. Orisino is Shakespeare’s stereotypical presentation of a romantic lover of Elizabethan England, and he mocks and defies the beliefs held by such people through Orisino. Thinking Cesario is a man, he discusses these Stereotypical views. The comedy value in this scene in from the dramatic irony of Orisino explaining this to a woman who defies his logic by her actions and her very nature. Woo’er I woo, myself would be his wife”.
We can see through this that Shakespeare believed a woman’s love is just as great as any mans, as Violas sides are just as intact, if not more so than any other male character in the play. Shakespeare represents a type of self-love through the self-indulgent and excessive language of Orisino as he talks incessantly of his love for Olivia, and Olivia is scarcely mentioned. Shakespeare mocks romantic lovers such as Orisino with his ludicrously exaggerated ideal of himself as the epiome of a romantic swain “such as I am, all true lovers are.
Curio merely asks Orisino is he wishes to go hunting, and Orisino replies as if lost in the turmoil of his own thoughts “what Curio? ” Curio replies “the Hart”. To his misfortune as Orisino seizes the opportunity to use the homonym ‘Heart’ and “hart” to make the comparison between himself and Akron, who witnessed Diana the Goddess of beauty swimming in a lake and to punish him, she turned him into a hart that “cruel hounds E’er since pursue”.
Through this metaphor (which would have been obvious to an Elizabethan audience), Shakespeare shows how the romantic love demonstrated by Orisino (and Olivia) Even so quickly may one catch the plague” Both of these extracts show us that you may fall in love in an instant (or at least lust in an instant), but shows us how self-persuasion and mistaken identity (other themes that run strong throughout the play) can impair the judgement of an individual in such things. Shakespeare conveys this through later developments, such as the fact Orisino and Olivia are both deceived by themselves (and other factors) into incorrectly identifying their true love. The above examples a) and b) can be related to other types of love as well.
Orisino relates his ‘love’ to a hunted deer, the metaphor a device to show how fate can determine our love, as we are prey to it. Olivia also makes this comparison, descibing herself as ” Olivia relates her love to the “plague”. Shakespeare often relates Love to sickness, conveying the idea of how love can make you feel as if falling “into abatement”. “If music be the food of love, play on. Give me excess of it, that surfeiting the appetite may sicken and so die” In this extract, Shakespeare shows love as a type of sustenance by making the comparison between love and food.
Through the complications of the deranged love triangles, we can see that Shakepeare identifies unreciprocated love. Olivia states how loving is good, but receiving it is better ” reason thus with reason fetta. Shakespeare plays with this idea, contrasting that idea with the reality of the play. Orisino feels more obligated to win Olivias heart the more she refuses “That I owe Olivia”. Olivias attraction toward Cesario increases the more he casts aside her affection “O what a deal of scorn looks beautiful in the contempt and anger of his lip”. Shakespeare how unreciprocated can love grow the more the love is not returned.
There are many other types of love demonstrated in this account, such as self-love. Shakespeare shows how taking the love of ones self to an extreme can separate you from others. Shakespeare conveys this to the audience through the arrogance, pomposity and the superiority complex of Malvolio. For instance, Olivia asked Malvolio his opinion of Feste the clown at the start of the play Malvolio loves himself so much that he believes he is better than those around him, looking sneeringly down through his nose at everyone who he believes is less of a man than he.
The other characters resent Malvolio for this, and devise a plan to put him back in his place. The forged letter of Olivias undying love for Malvolio works perfectly in gulling Malvolio into openly revealing his arrogant love for himself. Upon reading the letter, he believes he is to be “Count Malvolio” and shows his pompous contempt for the others as they eaves drop on his ranting insults ” Toby approaches: Curtsies there to me”. Shakespeare reminds us once more that the mind is untrustworthy in matters of love through Malvolios blinkered perspective of reality.
Malvolios love for himself has led him to believe he is desirable to Olivia, and he is so sure of his greatness ( E. G. “do not be afraid of greatness”), he fails to recognise the trick played upon him, with the extremely humorous results of him acting with “ridiculous boldness” even when he has to cross-garter in stockings for Olivia. The prank is taken to far, with the ‘gang’ imprisoning Malvolio for being mad. Shakespeare conveys to the reader that Self love can make an individual almost obsessive as well as excessive in their opinion of themselves.
This separates the affected from everyone as they resent the affected for his/her opinion and cast them aside as an outsider. Outsiders never win as Shakespeare shows with Malvolio being one of the few characters to end on a bitter and vengeful note rather than the joyful ending described in the statement “Ill be revenged on the whole pack of you”. Viola is Shakespeare’s representation of true love. Violas love is for Orisino is unquestioning and needs no reward and it is a self-less love.
The audience can interpret this through Cesario/ Violas refusal to accept money from Olivia for trying to woo her on behalf of Orisino. I am fee’d no post lady, my master, not myself lacks recompensense”. Viola does everything in her power to make Orisino happy, even if by doing so she herself would be unhappy. Violas true form of love brings reality to the warped perspectives of love held by the other characters (E. g. she does this for Orisino, when he states he will not accept another refusal from Olivia. Viola states “sooth but you must” which puts Orisinos self-indulgent ideal of romantic love in a realistic perspective).
Violas constancy brings about the joy for the many at the end, her true love for Orisino prevailing through the time and complications, that causing Orisino to fall in true love with Viola for these values he had not being able to appreciate whilst under the impression she was a man, but now he loves her for the right reasons. Olivias love for Cesario may have been for Sebastian the whole time, as I think Viola personified traits of his character in her alter ego (eg??? ) to keep the pained memory of her (apparently) departed brother alive.
This may be why Shakespeare mysteriously made the characters unable to distinguish the siblings from each other. In the end, only true love prevails through all the hardships that we will surely encounter along the way, even if they are not as extreme as the ridiculous ones presented by Shakespeare. As Festes departing song portrays, time goes on and we are as powerless to prevent it as we are “the wind and rain cometh every day”. The statement identifies many types of love Shakespeare was concerned with whilst writing “Twelfth Night”, but negates the dark undertone of the ending, of how outsiders are spurned from the joy at the end.