Othello And Twelfth Night Analysis

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Shakespeare’s plays often touch on themes of love, marriage, and affection (of both the platonic and sensual matter). This is especially evident in both “Twelfth Night” and “Othello”, one being his “farewell to wit” and the other being a tragedy. Since both plays contain elements of tragedy, it is possible to examine love as a tragedy of sorts. In “Twelfth Night”, there are marriages without love (Sebastian and Olivia), love without marriages (Sebastian and Antonio), and love used to hurt (Malvolio). In “Othello”, love is first used as strength, then as a stumbling block, then as a reason for ruin. Love also becomes a source of obsession. In both plays, Shakespeare uses tragedy to show that love isn’t pure, marriage is a trap of sorts, and jealously is the root of conflict. “Twelfth Night” contains a litany of pairings, some that come into fruition, some that do not: Olivia and Malvolio, Oliva and Sebastian (or, alternatively, Viola as Cesario), Viola and Duke Orsino, Anthony and Sebastian. Olivia and Sebastian are the only couple that end up married by the end of …show more content…
Although the outcome of Sebastian and Olivia’s union is not known, they weren’t really in love with each other, and get pushed into marriage through other circumstances. Emilia feels a horrible devotion to Iago, and therefore never confesses to taking the handkerchief. Desdemona is also devoted to Othello, saying as she dies that she killed herself (“Nobody; I myself. Farwell, commend me to my kind lord: O, farewell!” [Act 5, Scene 2]). Love has been shown in other plays (“Romeo and Juliet”, “Midsummer Night’s Dream”) to be either ruinous or potentially ruinous to the characters, and “Twelfth Night” and “Othello” show that clearly, with potential for ruin and actual ruin. Obsession and jealousy run abound, destroying love and lives as it grows, dangerous vines carefully watered by human

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