20 November 2013
In the play Twelfth Night, by William Shakespeare, the complications of love through an entangled love triangle, deceit, and disguise reign superior in the character’s lives. One of the main characters, Viola, disguises herself as a man, works for and falls in love with Duke Orsino, who is in love with Olivia. Undenying passion of love can look past any disguise and overcome any obstacle that comes in its path. Through the challenges presented in Twelfth Night, romantic love becomes eminent and unavoidable.
True love cannot be forced; rather it is a result of an instant connection. Viola found herself alone, and in need of a fresh start. She disguised herself as a man in order to work for Duke Orsino. While working for him, she fell madly in love with him, despite the fact that he loved another woman. After Orsino instructed Viola to woo Oliva, she exclaimed, “I’ll do my best to woo your lady: [Aside] yet, a barful strife! Whoe’er I woo, myself would be his wife” (Shakespeare 9). Not only does Viola find herself challenged by her hidden identity, but she is forced to woo another woman for the man she loves. This obstacle emphasizes how deep and pure Viola’s love for Orsino is. She is willing to put her needs and wants aside in order to make him happy. Although it would be easy for Viola to set her feelings aside, romantic love is ever-present and unavoidable.
Love that is planned cannot surpass love based on instinct. In the beginning of the play, Duke Orsino was convinced he loved Olivia. His love for her was purely based on his selfish need for a lover. He had a strong, emotion-filled connection with Viola (Cesario) based on trust. When faced with the rejection his love for Olivia diminished; but when he found out about Viola’s disguise his love was prevalent. After his discovery, Orsino professed, “…Here is my hand: you shall from this time be your master’s mistress” (69). Orsino’s forced love for Olivia could not prevail when faced with a challenged. His romantic love for Viola stood the test of disguise and deceit. Regardless of obstacles true love reigned victorious.
Thinking back on a lecture I attended by David Yezzi last Thursday, I cannot help but see the same theme of love conquering challenges. Although it is not as dramatic as described in Shakespeare’s play, Yezzi’s writing career was nothing simply handed to him. In order to become director, editor, and successful writer he had to overcome several obstacles in order to achieve his dreams and continue doing what he truly loved. As he spoke in font of the large audience, I could not help but see the passion eminent in his eyes. It made me think that no matter how hard things may seem, as long as I am doing what I truly love, it will all be worth it in the end.
Furthermore, this type of self-reflection and realization exhibited from both the play and lecture has been a common reaction of mine throughout the semester. Through both iExamens, and plays read such as “I Walk as lonely as a Cloud,” I have realized the importance of appreciating the simple aspects of every day life that I habitually take for granted each day. I was surprised by how simple it is to take a step back and just appreciate the beauty of nature and those that surround me every day.
In conclusion, challenges are a normal occurrence in life but when faced by pure love and passion they can be overcome. The love triangle in Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night, sorted itself out based on pure feelings. Yezzi is a successful figure known across the country for his literature despite the obstacles along his way. Lastly, I have found love and joy for the simple things in life even though challenged by my once unappreciative mindset.
Shakespeare, William. Twelfth Night. London: Methuen, 1975. Print.