Essay on William Shakespeare 's Twelfth Night

1259 Words Oct 11th, 2016 6 Pages
Shakespeare 's works frequently employ similes and metaphors to enhance the complexity of his writing, as well as to invoke distinct images that are being described for his audience. In Twelfth Night, Shakespeare continues with this theme in describing the beauty of countess Olivia. Viola, acting as a messenger on behalf of Orsino, conveys to Olivia the degree to which she finds her beautiful through a metaphor: 'Tis beauty truly blent, whose red and white
Nature 's own sweet and cunning hand laid on.
Lady, you are the cruell 'st she alive
If you will lead these graces to the grave
And leave the world no copy.
(1.5, 209-213)
Shakespeare compares Olivia 's beauty created by nature to that of a perfect painting. Through the use of this metaphor, Shakespeare portrays nature as an artist who 's canvas is Olivia, relays the importance nature itself in creating this beauty, and also argues that such beauty must not be wasted by not reproducing. In his writing, Shakespeare consistently makes references to cultural themes that were relevant to his time period. This example is no exception as he relates natural beauty to paint on a canvas. Artwork of this time period was very highly valued and artists were held at the pinnacle of society. Artists were responsible for portraying aristocracy through portraits, creating murals within churches and castles, and simply creating works that are still viewed today. All of these things were considered extremely important in the time period…

Related Documents