Indeed, Shakespeare may have written the play earlier and revised it for the Christmas festival, for it contains many signs of revision. The tone of Twelfth Night is consistently appropriate to high merriment. With nine comedies behind him when he wrote it, Shakespeare was at the height of his comic powers and in an exalted mood to which he never returned. Twelfth Night recombines many elements and devices from earlier plays—particularly The Two Gentlemen of Verona c.
What makes him stand out from the rest of the characters is his unbridled quest for love that keeps on evading him until the very end of the play. The first character trait of Duke Orsino is that he is very romantic. He does not care what people perceive of him or how many times he gets rejected.
He persists to the very end in his pursuit of Olivia- the woman of his dreams. He has a way with words and does not shy away from revealing to the whole world about his feelings for her. He meticulously uses beautifully lingo to describe his love for Olivia, sometimes equating love with sweet songs and lovely flowers.
Albeit accompanied by foolishness, his actions are actually very romantic. For instance, while addressing Curio he likens his desires to cruel hounds that that chase after him: O, when mine eyes did see Olivia first, Methought she purged the air of pestilence!
Act 1 Scene 1 Secondly, he is very passionate about his love for Olivia. He does not take no for an answer and constantly sends people to woo her to accept him, but each time he is rejected. In act 1 scene 1, when valentine informs him that Olivia is mourning her deceased brother for the next seven years, he is not discourage, even though he knows that it is a ploy to make him give up.
In fact, it only acts a fuel to his passion. He sees her unconventional way of mourning, as a gesture of loyalty to her family and claims that she would be a great lover to the man she falls for: O, she that hath a heart of that fine frame To pay this debt of love but to a brother, How will she love, when the rich golden shaft Act 1 Scene 1 Thirdly, he is fickle in nature.
He gets bored easily. He has a very short attention span and quickly changes his mind. This becomes obvious in his opening dialogue at the beginning of the play.
But as soon as the bands starts to play, he orders them to stop, claiming that the sound of music has ceased to impress him: If music be the food of love, play on; Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting, The appetite may sicken, and so die.
He is unfazed and quickly jumps to the idea of courting Viola, once it becomes clear that she is not a man. He even requests her to be in female clothes so that he could see her: He is also an authoritarian. When he is not whining about his love for Olivia, then he is obviously dishing out orders.
Like all rulers, his words are final and he commands people at his will. Though he rules with an iron rod, and everybody fears him, Olivia is not in the least bit scared of him, maybe because she also comes from a noble family.
In fact, when it comes to Olivia the old duke is as brittle as glass. She is the only person who reveals his weak and vulnerable side. However, Duke Orsino is not the weak ruler, as he behaves for the better part of the play.
He is actually a courageous leader that once fought and won against Antonio, his enemy. Unfortunately, we come to learn of his heroic exploits at the closing stages of the play. Furthermore, the duke is selfish and self-centered.
He wants everything to revolve around him. All the weird melodramatic behavior is just to suck up all the spotlight to himself. His love for being the center of attention stems from an overinflated sense of self-worth.
His so-called love for Olivia is not actually true love, as we realize later in the play. It may be the excitement people get when they seek something forbidden or beyond their reach.
Or, it may be his ego that refuses to accept that Olivia does not want him as a suitor. When he realizes that Olivia has already been married to Sebastian, he quickly accepts Viola to save face.
It can also be argued that Orsino is daft. He is the definition of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. His approach towards Olivia has failed over and over again, but he still sticks to it even though it does little to impress her. Instead of approaching her personally, he is constantly sending servants to do all the negotiations for him, but this shows that he is a coward.
He does not believe in himself. When Cesario Viola advices him to go to Olivia himself, he belittles himself because he is old and informs her that Olivia will receive her better because she is young and beautiful.Duke Orsino’s character in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night is brief and not as profound as other major characters.
However, Shakespeare made sure to compensate his briefness with uninhibited satire that makes Twelfth Night a classic in the romantic comedy genre. View this term paper on Character Analysis of Viola in the Twelfth Night. Viola's Character in Relation to the Animus Development and Its 4 Stages Term Paper Character Analysis of Viola in the Twelfth Night and 90,+ more term papers written by professionals and your peers.
The characters of Twelfth Night are varied in terms of their personality. Each character has his/her role to help the plot to develop. Viola is introduced to the play when she is in mourning for her twin brother who she believed she has lost.
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