William Shakespeare 's Twelfth Night Essay

1344 Words Oct 2nd, 2016 6 Pages
Shakespeare’s writings often draw comparisons between people of nobility and mechanicals. For example, in Richard II, an entire scene is dedicated to the interaction between the Queen of England and a gardener who is overheard discussing Richard. In Hamlet, one of the few people who can keep up with Hamlet’s verbal sparring is a gravedigger who unearths the skull of Hamlet’s childhood jester. Less obviously, in Twelfth Night, there is a much longer-form contrast between two social classes employed to tell a story of the love men have for women. Specifically, Shakespeare makes a comparison between the Duke Orsino and the lowly Malvolio. He writes of their common desire for Olivia, their futile attempts to court her, and their combined failure to bewed the countess. The contrast between the characters and their similar goals could be seen as comical. However, it could also be inspected through a more serious, analytical lense. Through an analytical lense made of the words “passion” and “desire”, the similarities and contrasts between Orsino and Malvolio in Twelfth Night can examined, ultimately show Shakespeare’s perceived baseness of all male heterosexual love, not just of the low, and not just of the high. High Orsino, gifted the opening of the entire play, makes his love towards Olivia immediately clear. His opening lines express passion for the countess, relating his love to an “appetite” (1.1.3). After this long opening, the response to his servant Curio solidifies his…

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