Twelfth Night

● 1.1.25-31 “The element itself till seven years’ heat Shall not behold her face at ample view, But like a cloistress she will veilèd walk And water once a day her chamber round With eye-offending brine—all this to season A brother’s dead love, which she would keep fresh And lasting in her sad remembrance.” ● Speaker – Valentine● Context – The beginning of the play, Valentine is commenting on the emotional state of Olivia● Significance – The grief of Olivia is portrayed as being extremely excessive, stating that she will cry every day and hide herself away from society for seven years. Furthermore, the language indicates a type of sympathy toward her. This excessive grieving is keeping her from society, when she should be out getting married–putting a lot of pressure on her. Comic perspective of grief and mourning compared to the tragic Hamlet.
● 1.1.32-38″O, she that hath a heart of that fine frameTo pay this debt of love but to a brotherHow will she love when the rich golden shaftHath killed the flock of all affections elseThat live in her—when liver, brain, and heart,These sovereign thrones, are all supplied, and filledHer sweet perfections with one self king! ● Speaker – Orsino● Context – Orsino thinks that he is responding to Olivia’s grief● Significance – He proclaims that those that are sad are attractive. He says if she loves a brother like this, how would she act if he filled her up with his love? He is seen as as a narcissistic person. Phallic hints with the golden shaft. He claims that this complete consummation of his love for her will transform her. The play is about displacing/replacing; shows how he is narcissistic because you don’t get much sense of who he loves but he loves love
● 1.4.29-35Dear lad, believe it;For they shall yet belie thy happy years,That say thou art a man: Diana’s lipIs not more smooth and rubious; thy small pipeIs as the maiden’s organ, shrill and sound,And all is semblative a woman’s part.I know thy constellation is right aptFor this affair. ● Speaker:Orsino● Context: Orsino sending Viola (Cesario) to woo Olivia for him● Significance: Orsino is pointing out the womanly qualities of Cesario and claiming that they will help with the delivery of Orsino’s message. Making connections to the same sex bonding throughout the play. Also the cliche body language that Shakespeare mocks throughout the play; forming of an attraction between Orsino and Cesario?; if he loves Olivia because she is mourning the same can be applied to Viola
● 1.5.238-245Make me a willow cabin at your gate,And call upon my soul within the house;Write loyal cantons of contemned loveAnd sing them loud even in the dead of night;Halloo your name to the reverberate hillsAnd make the babbling gossip of the airCry out ‘Olivia!’ O, You should not restBetween the elements of air and earth,But you should pity me! ● Speaker: Viola (Cesario)● Context: Olivia falls in love with Cesario. As Cesario, Viola talks about what she would do if she were Orsino (trying to woo Olivia)● Significance: It’s something quite sad about this speech. Willows were seen as a sense of mourning. Relates to the myth of Narcissus. Echo fell in love with Narcissus. Cesario is seen as both of them. It symbolizes grieving and mourning for the other half. This speech represents how mourning can play into love, and perhaps exemplifies the attraction to melancholy found throughout the play. Cesario’s example of wooing could apply both to her grief over Sebastian’s death or the wishes of her unrequited love for Orsino. Because Orsino has clearly been depicted as narcissistic, the imagery of Echo and Narcissus applies to that relationship as well. This melancholic imagery strikes a chord with the grieving Olivia, and sparks her interest in Cesario. represents a displaced desire and substitution and in some ways a criticism of Orsino’s ability to woo
● 2.4.106-117A blank, my lord. 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 melancholyShe sat like patience on a monument,Smiling at grief. Was not this love indeed?We men may say more, swear more: but indeedOur shows are more than will; for still we proveMuch in our vows, but little in our love. ● Speaker: Viola (as Cesario)● Context: Orsino claims that men’s love is stronger than women’s and Cesario counters with a story about his “sister.”● Significance: Viola argues that men’s love is in their words but does not compare to the real love of women. Viola is in a trap because she is caught in her disguise. Is she more emotionally trapped than anything? Arguably, she has an attachment to Cesario, because it reminds her of Sebastian.Cesario argues that simply because women do not show their love in the same way that men do does not mean that they do not love as strongly. Her story of her “sister” reflects her current state of interest in Orsino which is impossible to reveal or requite. Her reference to statues suggests that she is waiting out her grief before revealing herself to Orsino. She also states that Orsino needs to take more actions than words to prove his love.The language also reflects the theme as the idea of a monument shows the mourning she is still feeling as an illusion to a grave
● 5.1.242-248If nothing lets to make us happy bothBut this my masculine usurp’d attire,Do not embrace me till each circumstanceOf place, time, fortune, do cohere and jumpThat I am Viola: which to confirm,I’ll bring you to a captain in this town,Where lie my maiden weeds; ● Speaker: Viola● Context: Viola has revealed her disguise as Cesario.● Significance: Viola says she will not hug Sebastian until she looks like a girl again. Why would Shakespeare want to keep them at a distance? There is also a ridiculous complication that she can’t get her women’s clothes. What does this assert about gender within the play? Now that she is reunited with Sebastian, Viola seeks unity in place, time, fortune, etc. and she sees assuming the attire of her original gender role will contribute to that unity. Although her role as Cesario is seen as a displacement in this natural order, Viola does not change before the end of the play, leaving the audience with the image of Orsino and Cesario, not Orsino and Viola, complicating the typical marriage-oriented ending of a comedy.

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