Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

Twelfth Night starts when Orsino the Duke of Illyria states ‘If music be the food of love, play on.’ Orsino desires excess of music because it might cure his desire for love. Orsino then compares love with a human’s appetite for food. In which eating too much removes one’s appetite for food so excess of music might cure his obsession and desire for love, which can be shown later on for Orsino’s love for Olivia. Shortly later Orsino says ‘Enough; no more.’ I found this interesting because in the beginning Orsino was talking about how much he liked music and says music is love and to play on but suddenly Orsino says to stop. This shows that Orsino is kind of stupid in a way because he can’t make up his mind.

Then Curio says, ‘Will you go hunt, my lord?’ Then Orsino says ‘What, Curio?’ Curio then replies by saying ‘The hart.’ I found this small section to be very confusing because it mentioned the hart which I found out was a small dear. Then Orsino says he wants to hunt the hart. Orsino then mentions that he loved Olivia ever since when his eyes saw Olivia. When it first mentioned the hart I was confused, but then I thought about it and I realized that it wasn’t referencing the deer but the heart of Olivia that Orsino was trying to pursue.

Then Valentine enters and has news from Olivia. The message says that Olivia is going to lock herself up for seven years to season his brothers dead love, to not forget about her dead brother and make her brother last in her sad memories. I found this part to be unrealistic because after one’s death it doesn’t make sense to lock yourself up for a very long time. I think this introduces the characteristics of Olivia, that she is caring, over the top, emotional, and extreme because she would lock herself up for a loved one’s death, but in a different perspective I find it extreme and unrealistic. The next part reveals some other characteristics of Orsino. Orsino’s thoughts are that if Olivia loved her brother to the extent of locking herself up, then if Orsino wins her heart Olivia would love him like he loved his brother.

At the start of scene 2 Viola, a Captain and sailors enter. Viola asks, ‘what country is this?’ The captain replies ‘This

is Illyria, lady.’ Then Viola questions herself why she is here, thinks her brother is dead and asks the sailors if they think there’s a chance that her brother is still alive. The Captain replies and says that it was lucky that she survived and Violet thinks there’s hope that her brother got lucky as well. The Captain says It’s possible her brother survived and to have hope because when the ship was split Viola and a few other survivors were clinging onto the driving boat. The Captain assures Viola that her brother was acting calm and with courage. Viola then gives the captain money to express her gratitude and thanks him. I think this little sign of gratitude shows her characteristics and how she is generous and patient even under the circumstances she is in.

Shortly after Viola finds out about Orsino from the Captain. The captain then mentions that Orsino is in love with Olivia. The Captain tells Viola about Olivia’s state. Viola then wants to serve Olivia. I think this is because of Olivia’s background and the states she is in may have intrigued Viola. The Captain tells Viola that Olivia is locking herself up so Viola wouldn’t be able to serve Olivia. Viola then says, ‘There is a fair behavior in thee, captain, and though that nature with a beauteous wall Doth oft close in pollution, yet of thee I will believe thou hast a mind that suits with this thy fair and outward character.’ I think this means that nature with a beautiful wall is polluted on the inside. I think Viola said it as a compliment to the Captain because shortly after with a lot of trust Viola gives the Captain a lot of money in exchange that the Captain conceals her identity to serve the duke and keep quiet. The captain agrees and Viola thanks the captain.