The Twelfth Night and Epigrams
- 1. Why did Viola decide to take on the role of a male servant?
The shipwreck that separated Viola from her brother had psychological effects on the woman and instilled fears in her. She feared her brother was dead. Therefore, she dressed in her brother’s clothes to keep her brother alive. Her behavior could also be explained by the premise that as a male Viola disguises her identity so that she can work in the all-male court and earn a living to support herself.
2. 2. Describe the plot that Maria, Toby, and Andrew planned against Malvolio.
Maria explains the plot in Act II scene 3. The three characters decide to play a practical joke on Malvolio. Maria writes a letter to Malvolio under the pretense of being Olivia and confesses her love to Malvolio. Maria knows that this will have the desired effect on Malvolio because Malvolio is a proud man that thinks everybody loves him. This prank makes Malvolio fantasize about how his life would look like in the role of Olivia’s husband.
3. 3. How did Feste “prove” that Olivia was a fool?
In Act I scene 5, Feste, the clown, asks Olivia why she is sad, and she replies that her brother’s death has caused her sadness. When asked by Feste whether her brother is in hell, Olivia replies that he is in heaven. Feste proves that Olivia is a fool that mourns for someone in heaven. He says, “The more fool, Madonna, to mourn for your brother’s soul, being in heaven. Take away the fool, gentlemen.” (Shakespeare).
4. 4. In “On Something, That Walks Somewhere,” what feelings about the nobility does Ben Jonson display?
Ben Johnson displays annoyance at the nobility. They does not care about the other people at all the way they do about themselves.
5. 5. Why are Giles and Joan in agreement?
Giles and Joan are in agreement because they know they will never understand or love each other. They also agree on the dissatisfaction that is inherent in their marriage.
2. 1. Discuss the concept of “love” in Twelfth Night. What can we learn about love from the various relationships? Rely on the text to prove your points.
An analysis of the Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare reveals contradictory concepts of love. Romantic love is one of the main themes in the story………..
Smiling at grief. Was not this love indeed? “(Shakespeare Act II, Scene 4)
Furthermore, Orsino’s love adventures show that love is insatiable. He cannot get enough of his love and wishes he could overload it with music. He says his love for Olivia “clears the air of pestilence.” (Shakespeare Act I Scene 1). He believes that love makes life good. However, the irony of love is that Olivia does not love him and confesses that she will not marry because of her love for her dead brother. Orsino’s love does not die. He describes his capacity to love to the ocean, which is vast and overpowering. Like Viola, he suffers from loving a person that does not love him back. The reference to the ocean is a metaphor that describes the destructive nature of love. Orsino is driven to near insanity because of his love for Olivia.
Orsino also brings out the theme of self-love. He is in love with himself and believes that he is capable of getting anything that he wants. Moreover, Olivia reinforces the concept of self-love based on her over indulgence in herself. She shows no interest at all in relating to the outside world after her brother’s death. Malvolio also illustrates the exploitative nature of self-love. He romances Olivia for her wealth and power.
Therefore, although love is dramatized for effect in the play, it teaches readers a few important aspects of love. Firstly, one learns that love is unpredictable. Orsino first loves Olivia, who does not love him back. He later moves to Viola. Secondly, love causes suffering, but the suffering does not last. In the end of the Shakespeare’s play, most of the characters find love and marry. One also finds out that overindulgence in self is toxic to love. Orsino and Olivia love themselves too much to love other people, which causes immense pain to all parties involved. One also learns that love is enduring based on Viola’s enduring love for Orsino.
2. 2. There are those who say that parents in earlier times did not care so much emotionally about their children because of the high rate of child mortality and because children were looked upon as commodities. What does Ben Jonson say in Epigrams that would show this to be wrong?
Ben Johnson talks about the death of his first son. He is inconsolable because he loved his son too much. Notably, in his poem “On my first son” he laments that “…………..