Essay on Twelfth Night Analysis

780 Words Sep 7th, 2011 4 Pages
William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night is a well-known Christmas play, it is considered as one of the most successful comedies. The play starts when Viola and her twin brother, Sebastian, survive a shipwreck. When they cannot find each other, each thinks the other may be dead. Then they move on to two separate ways, establishing two story lines that finally meet with each other after involving funny mistaken identities. The love bug in the comedy bites not only Olivia and Orsino, but also Sebastian, along with Malvolio. Shakespeare finishes his play with a sweet ending when Viola finally gets together with Duke Orsino and Olivia realizes that she loves Sebastian. The comic effect in the play is achieved by several ingredients – a set of …show more content…
A memorable example begins with Line 25 in Act 2, Scene 4: “Duke Orsino : ‘My life upon’t, young though thou art, thine eye / Hate stayed upon some favor that it loves. / Hate it not, boy?’ Viola: ‘A little, by your favor.’ Orsino : ‘What kind of woman is’t ? ’Viola: ‘Of your complexion.’ Orsino: ‘She is not worth thee, then. What years, I’ faith? ’ Viola: ‘About your years, my lord’ ”. Their conversation starts when Duke Orsino notices that Viola (still disguised as Cesario) seems preoccupied. It is, of course, the love for the duke that preoccupies her. Although Viola comes close to giving away her true feelings, Orsino remains ignorant to the cause of her preoccupation. Another example of dramatic irony occurs when Olivia asides and declares her love for the disguised Viola , “Cesario, by the roses of the spring,/ By maidhood, honor, truth, and everything. / I love thee so, that, manger all thy pride, / Nor wit nor reason can passion hide. / Do not extort thy resons from this clause, / For that I woo, thou therefore hast no cause; / But rather reason thus with reason fetter: / Love sought is good but given unsought is better. ” (3.1.157- 164) Since Olivia asides when she speaks her love, Viola and other characters remain unaware of her deep feelings and the plot developments at this point. Shakespeare’s implantation of situational irony, and dramatic irony are the most effective ingredients to achieve his comic

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