William Shakespeare 's Twelfth Night Essay

1183 Words Nov 24th, 2014 null Page
American actor and playwright Woody Allen once said “To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love. But then one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer; not to love is to suffer; to suffer is to suffer.” Twelfth Night, the holiday after which critics claim the play is named, takes place on January 6 and celebrates the day that the three wise men presented gifts to the newborn Jesus. During the Elizabethan times, the holiday festivities involved much drinking, eating, letting loose, and an overall suspension of conventional social roles and behavior. This spirit of revelry is shown in the play in the way Sir Toby Belch and Andrew Aguecheek constantly drink and party, and Feste’s clowning and singing. Using a psychoanalytic perspective, Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare uses characterization to keep the audience rooted in reality to show that unsuccessful love is the premise of all suffering. When the noble, wealthy, and incredibly self-involved Illyrian lady Olivia is first introduced into the play, she is mourning for her dead brother. She shows no interest in the outside world, and prefers to lock herself up in her home and mope. In response to Orsino’s courting of Olivia, Sir Toby Belch says “She’ll not match above her degree, neither in estate, years, nor wit” (1. 3. 90-91). This shows Olivia’s selectiveness when choosing who will keep her company. Moglen further describes Olivia’s situation by stating that she “carefully [preserves…

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