English 2 Exam: Twelfth Night, Willian Shakespeare

P1.1: “If music be the food of love, play on, / Give me excess of it that, surfeiting, / The appetite may sicken and so die.” (I.i.1-3)Translation: If it’s true that music makes people more in love, keep playing. Give me too much of it, so I’ll get sick of it and stop loving. – Shakespeare’s play “Twelfth Night” opens the first scene with one of its most famous lines, as the unhappy, lovesick Orsino tells his servants and musicians, (quote). – Orsino wishes to be “surfeit” or overdose and cease to desire love any longer in the musical love-food from the musicians. – Through these words, Shakespeare introduces the image of love as something unwanted, something that comes upon people unexpectedly and that is not easily avoided.
P1.2: “So full of shapes is fancy, / That it alone is high fantastical.” (I.i.14-15)Translation: Love is so vivid and fantastical that nothing compares to it. – The image of love is complicated by Orsino’s comment about the relationship between romance and imagination. He says, (quote).- Relating the idea of overpowering love which is “fancy” to that of imagination “fantastical”. – This connects to the idea of whether romantic love has more to do with the lover’s own imagination or with the reality of the person who is loved.- For Orsino, and in fact Olivia imagination often seems more powerful than reality.
Orsino characterization In the play Orsino is represented as the melancholy lover, who is in love with the idea of love itself but is unable to distinguish between appearance and reality.
P2: “Make me a willow cabin at your gate / And call upon my soul within the house,… / Between the elements of air and earth / But you should pity me.” (I.v.223-231)Translation: I’d build myself a sad little cabin near your house, where my soul’s imprisoned. From that cabin I’d call out to my soul. I’d write sad songs about unrequited love and sing them loudly in the middle of the night. – After Orsino has sent Viola (as Cesario) to carry his messages of love to Olivia, Viola/Cesario delivers this speech to Olivia, (quote).- The role of appearance versus reality plays a big role in this scene because it sets the stage for Olivia’s infatuation with the person she thinks is Cesario.- Viola/Cesario sets aside the prepared messages and help win Olivia’s love for Orsino, he instead tells Olivia what he would do if he were to love her. In turn, his passionate words only made Olivia fall in love with him.- Here there is a development of the contrast between Viola’s ideal of love compared to Orsino’s ideal of love. Viola is willing to stand outside Olivia’s gate night and day, declaring her love until Olivia took “pity” of her. – On the other hand, Orsino, instead would prefer to remain and home, on a couch, complaining of his broken heart. This sharply contrast to the love and devotion Viola is willing to give to Olivia. Thus, proving that Viola has a better understanding of love than Orsino.
Viola characterization – Unlike other characters, Viola seems to contrast with other characters like Orsino and Olivia, who are deceived by appearances. In the play, Viola’s dramatic function is to lead Orsino and Olivia out of their fantasies about love and help them realize what true love really is.- In Shakespeare’s time, people married, not for love but for money, status and connections. Viola represents the idea of true love which was seen to be very romantic at that time.
P3: “Thy tongue, thy face, thy limbs, actions and spirit / Do give thee five-fold blazon. Not too fast! Soft, Soft! / Unless the master were the man. How now? / Even so quickly may one catch the plague?” (I.v.246-250)Translation: Your way of talking, your face, your body, your behavior, and your sensitive soul all prove you’re a gentleman. Ah, no. Calm down, calm down. If only his lord were more like him. How strange I’m feeling! Can someone fall in love this quickly? – After Viola/Cesario proclaimed his love on behalf of Duke Orsino, Olivia seems to be surprised at the fact that she has fallen in love with Cesario (who is Viola in disguise). Olivia says, (quote).- She talks about Viola/Cesario in a passionate tone. She closely describes the way he talks, his face, his body, his behavior and sensitive soul, proving that he is worthy of her love.- She also compares love to catching a the “plague”, revealing that falling in love is like catching a deadly illness.- It should be noted that in the beginning of the play, Olivia vows to sworn off men and shut herself from the world for seven years while she mourns her late brother. However, she quickly breaks that vow when she meets Viola/Cesario.
Olivia characterization This reveals that, like Orsino, Olivia seems to be confused with idea of love and infatuation, as well as illusion and reality which also represents her as melancholy lover.
P4.1: “Alas, their love may be called appetite, / No motion of the liver, but the palate, / That suffer surfeit, cloyment, and revolt. / But mine is all as hungry as the sea, / And can digest as much.” (II.iv.93-97)Translation: Women don’t feel love like that—love is as shallow as appetite for them. It has nothing to do with their hearts, just their sense of taste. They eat too much and get indigestion and nausea. But my love’s different. – In this scene, Orsino discusses his love for Olivia with Viola/Cesario. Orsino argues that there can be no comparison between the kind of love man has for a woman. He says, (quote). – He uses a metaphor that the kind of love women feel for men is as shallow as an appetite for them, that is as nothing to do with their hearts or their sense of taste.- The words, “palate” and “liver” implies that the love for men is somehow deeper and less changeable than woman. This can be demonstrated through his self-involvement, establishing that he only cares about his emotions and assumes that Olivia’s love cannot compare to his own feelings for her.- There is also irony here because Orsino argues that only a woman’s feelings are changeable, when in act five, he happily transfers his love for Olivia to Viola who has now revealed her true identity.- Viola also shows that were love for Orsino has, in fact, remained constant throughout the play. In response to Orsino’s speech earlier, she says, (quote).
P4.2: “She never told her love, / But let concealment, like a worm i’ the bud, / Feed on her damask cheek. She pined in thought, / And with a green and yellow melancholy / She sat like patience on a monument, / Smiling at grief.” (II.iv.106-111)Translation: She never told him she loved him. She kept her love bottled up inside her until it destroyed her, ruining her beauty. She pined away. She just sat waiting patiently, sadly, smiling despite her sadness. – Here, she uses personification and imagery, citing herself as an example of a woman whose love has remained constant, without revealing that she is talking about herself. Viola personifies Patience in a vivid description of the affects of love. – This creates the a dramatic irony because the audience knows that Orsino’s opinions about woman’s love seems to be wrong on almost every count.

You Might Also Like