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Twelfth Night: Various attitudes to Love

Twelfth Night: Various attitudes to love

Twelfth Night: Various attitudes to Love

Q. Discuss the various attitudes to love in Twelfth Night.

Answer: "Twelfth Night" by William Shakespeare explores various attitudes towards love through its complex and multifaceted characters. Love takes center stage in the play, and different characters experience it in distinct ways:

Orsino's Idealized Love:

   Orsino is the Duke of Illyria and initially appears to be a hopeless romantic. He is in love with the idea of love, rather than any specific person. He pines for Olivia throughout the play, believing that love is a grand and melancholic experience. His attitude towards love is idealized and passionate, but it is also self-indulgent and self-absorbed.

Olivia's Mourning Love:

   Olivia, a countess in Illyria, is in mourning due to the death of her brother. She refuses to entertain the idea of love and rejects Orsino's advances. Her attitude towards love is one of skepticism, and she remains closed off emotionally. However, her attitude changes when she falls in love with Cesario (Viola in disguise), revealing her capacity for deep and intense emotions.

Viola's Selfless Love:

   Viola, the play's protagonist, disguises herself as a young man, Cesario, and serves Duke Orsino. She falls in love with Orsino but remains loyal to him even when it becomes clear that he is in love with Olivia. Viola's attitude towards love is selfless and enduring. She navigates the complexities of love with grace and patience, even as she conceals her true identity.

Malvolio's Ambitious Love:

   Malvolio, Olivia's steward, is infatuated with Olivia and aspires to climb the social ladder by marrying her. His love for Olivia is driven by ambition, not genuine affection. Malvolio's attitude towards love is one of arrogance and self-importance, leading to his eventual humiliation.

Sir Toby's Carnal Love:

   Sir Toby Belch, Olivia's uncle, is a hedonistic character who encourages Sir Andrew Aguecheek to court Olivia. His attitude towards love is shallow and focuses on indulgence and revelry rather than deep emotional connections. He represents a more physical and base form of love.

 Sir Andrew's Foolish Love:

   Sir Andrew Aguecheek is another of Olivia's suitors. He is motivated more by Sir Toby's persuasion and his desire to be accepted by the upper class than by genuine love for Olivia. His attitude towards love is marked by his foolishness and gullibility.

Maria's Playful Love:

   Maria, Olivia's waiting-gentlewoman, engages in a playful courtship with Sir Toby. Her attitude towards love is lighthearted, mischievous, and playful, reflecting the comedic aspects of the play.

Shakespeare uses these diverse attitudes towards love to create a rich tapestry of relationships and to explore the various facets of love, from idealized and enduring love to self-serving and shallow infatuations. "Twelfth Night" ultimately highlights the unpredictability and complexity of love and the transformative power it can have on individuals.


Read also:

👉 Twelfth Night | Character List 

👉 Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare | Summary 

👉 Twelfth Night | Questions and Answers (Part – I) 

👉 Doctor Faustus | Summary, Themes and Characters  

👉 'Medea', an ancient Greek tragedy by Euripides | Important Characters  

👉 As You Like It | Character sketch of Celia  

👉 Macbeth | Questions and Answers (D.A.Q)  

👉 The Comedy of Errors | Short Answer Type Questions and Answers  

👉 Sonnet No. 116 | definition of 'Love' 

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