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SHAKESPEARE’S “TWELFTH NIGHT”: THEME OF LOVE

Shakespeare carefully examines and demonstrates the emotion of love in the drama "Twelfth Night." A deep passion or fondness for someone is what the dictionary "Webster's New World Dictionary" defines as "love." Shakespeare tackles three sorts of love throughout the play: friendship, self-love, and real love.

Many of the characters who are entangled in the web of love in "Twelfth Night" are naive to the fact that their emotions and feelings toward other characters are untrue. They are being duped by themselves, other people, or both.

In a few scenes, the play's portrayal of love is accurate, and the two persons involved have a genuine affection for one another. Viola's devotion to Orsino is a wonderful illustration of pure love. She wants to win the duke’s love despite the fact that she is posing as a male and is hardly recognised in Illyria. Viola expresses her genuine thoughts for Cesario in act 1, scene 4, saying, "Yet a barful strife! Regardless of who I woo, I would be his wife.
When Viola discloses her true identity, such assertion is proven to be accurate. Due to their strong friendship, becoming husband and wife for Viola and Orsino was simple. Another genuine love story involved Viola, but this time she was the recipient, and things didn't go as planned. Olivia developed a love for Cesario whilst Olivia was being courted by Orsino. There was only one way out of the dreadful situation Viola was now in, but doing so would endanger her relationship with Orsino.

It's incredible that Olivia would fall for a man-dressed lady, but Viola was able to win Olivia over with her words since she was aware of what appeals to women. The following instance of true love is more focused on the family and is less personal and romantic. All siblings share Viola and Sebastian's fondness for one another. They continued to love each other despite their times of grief and mourning for each other's apparent deaths. They had a secret hope that each of them may somehow miraculously survive and be in good health.

Even in today's world, a lot of people prioritise loving themselves over everything else. The play "Twelfth Night" discusses the subject of self-love and its impact on people's lives.

Malvolio thinks a lot of women would like being with him. He prefers to see things just one way, and he lies to himself to support that viewpoint. For instance, he manipulates Olivia's comments in the play to make it appear as though she admires his yellow cross-gartered stockings while, in reality, she loathes them. Although Sir Toby and Olivia exhibit evidence of self-love, it is not as serious of a problem. None of the people around Sir Toby, not even his pals, are important to him.

He disregards Maria's advice to limit late-night drinking and presses Sir Andrew to pursue Olivia. Despite the fact that he thinks Sir Andrew has no chance. Although Olivia is concerned about those around her, she also thinks that no man is deserving of her beauty. She believes that no one can compete with her since she is "all that."
The third kind of love in "Twelfth Night" is friendship. Orsino and Cesario must have the strongest and closest friendship. At first, they hardly knew one another, but soon Orsino was confessing his feelings for Olivia to Cesario. Even running his love letters to Olivia through Cesario.

Though they didn't frequently discuss their second friendship, Viola and the Sea Captain shared a very close bond. Together, they managed to survive the shipwreck, and the Sea Captain vowed to keep Viola's plan to pose as a man a secret. The entire play would have been different if he had spoken.

The third and most peculiar friendship is between Sir Toby and Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Although they are close friends, Sir Toby doesn't always act like it. He likes to set up Sir Andrew and get him into trouble. An illustration would be convincing Sir Andrew to challenge Cesario to a duel despite the fact that he is not a skilled swordsman and is not aware of Cesario's skill. Sir Andrew, on the other hand, enjoys Sir Toby's presence since he constantly cheers him up and makes him feel like a real knight.

Shakespeare discusses true love, self-love, and friendship in "Twelfth Night" in a highly engaging and interesting way. Love plays a significant role in the play. Everyone deserves a little affection, so it's fun to read stories about love. The actual concept of love is found in "Twelfth Night," and Shakespeare does a fantastic job of illuminating a challenging subject.


By-
Sriparna Mukherjee
Amity University, Kolkata


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