The Twelfth Night Or What You Will Is A Play Written By William Shakespeare

1586 Words Nov 17th, 2016 7 Pages
The Twelfth Night or What you will is a play written by William Shakespeare in about 1601-02. It is a comedy which focuses around the romantic relationships of the twins Viola and Sebastian and their love interests Orsino and Olivia on the island of Illyria. The play has a comedic twist by including an element of crossdressing, which in turn brings much confusion to the romantic relationships of the characters.The Twelfth Night was written during the renaissance, which was a time of excess; in both the arts, beauty and frivolity. Shakespeare explores these areas of excess in the first monologue of the play by the Duke and throughout the course of the play. Excess is even explored by Shakespeare, in how it can be represented in so many ways and how it can be both beneficial and unhealthy.

Through Orsino’s monologue Shakespeare discusses the Renaissance element of having or doing things in excess. In his first lines Orsino says he wishes to overdose on music so that his “appetite may sicken and so die”(3), and by saying this Shakespeare is giving an example of romantic or love in excess. By wishing for an excess Orsino is following the common renaissance trope of needing things to be larger and more intense so that the experience may be superior. This is why Orsino’s love is so vast, to experience the feeling of loving something so greatly; however it does not mean that it will always be positive. Loving in excess also causes Orsino pain, saying loving one thing in excess…

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