Twelfth Night

Theme of Seduction

  • theme of love and seduction to display foolishness and misdirected desire
  • desire for misleading relationships with others, love at first sight, and other motivations cause suffering for multiple characters over course of novel

Potential/Actual Couples

1.Orsino and Olivia

  • Orsino, Duke of Illyria, loves the countess Olivia
  • Olivia will never return his love

2. Cesario and Olivia

  • Olivia had fallen in love with the young and handsome Cesario, who is actually Viola disguised as a man
  • Cesario says he cannot love her

3. Viola and Orsino

  • Viola, who is disguised as Cesario for most of the play, falls in love with Orsino right after she met him
  • Orsino does not know that she is a girl, or that she is in love with him until end of play

4. Sebastion and Olivia

  • Olivia mistakes Sebastion for Cesario, and asks him to marry her. (Sebastion is Viola's shipwrecked brother)
  • Sebastion is unaware of what is going on, decides to marry her

5. Malvolio and Olivia

  • Olivia's steward of the house Malvolio, is convinced that she is in love with him after a prank by Sir Andrew, Sir Toby, and Maria.
  • He had day dreamed about being her husband and ruling the house
  • Olivia doe not love him, and is unaware about the prank

6. Sir Andrew and Olivia

  • Olivia's uncle Sir Toby introduces her to Sir Andrew, whom he thinks would be a good man for her to marry
  • She refuses, yet Sir Andrew stays with Sir Toby and Maria in hopes that she will change her mind

Parallel Couples
Orsino & Olivia/ Cesario & Olivia

  • One character in the relationship will never love the other
  • Orsino tries hard to make Olivia love him, yet Olivia is in love with Cesario
  • Olivia tries to convince Cesario to love her, yet Cesario is in love with Orsino. (Viola)

Contrast Couples
Orsino & Olivia/ Malvolio & Olivia

  • Olivia is aware that Orsino loves her, yet there is no chance that she will love him
  • Although upset, and refusing to accept reality,  Orsino comes to an understanding that Olivia will never love him.  (end of play when she marries Sebastian)
  • Olivia does not know that Malvolio loves her
  • Malvolio is convinced that Olivia is in love with him. (a prank that Sir Andrew, Sir Toby, and Maria pulled on him).

Connections and comparing

  • Olivia loves Cesario, who is really Viola. However, she ends up marrying her brother
  • Orsino loves Olivia, yet marries Viola whom Olivia loved at first. (equal relationships)
  • Sir Andrew and Malvolio's desire for a relationship was not for love, but more for personal reasons.
  • Olivia's uncle wanted Sir Andrew to marry her because he was wealthy, which would make him wealthy also
  • Malvolio did not truly love Olivia, but he wanted to marry her to gain control of the house and the people whom he did not like. ( Sir Toby, Sir Andrew and Maria)
  • Both are social climbers

Love at First Sight/symbol

  • Viola (Cesario at the time) fell for Orsino when she went looking for work
  • Although she was disguised as Cesario for most of the play, she hinted to Orsino throughout the play
  • Olivia fell in love with Cesario when she first met him because he was young, charming, and handsome
  • At the end of the play, Viola reveals herself and explains how she is in love with Orsino
  • Orsino makes her change her clothes before he expressed his feelings
  • clothes symbolized Viola's deception and how when she changed her appearance, things fell into place

How does it unify the play?

  • Each relationship shares something in common that connects the characters
  • Characters face lessons, and realize love isnt all it seems to be
  • Shows meaning of theme

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