English II P-AP
February 14, 2013.
“Duke Orsino Character Analysis in Twelfth Night”In the play “Twelfth Night or What you will” by William Shakespeare, the Duke Orsino is the protagonist. Orsino is madly in love with Olivia another noblewoman. The plot circles around Orsino’s obsession to try and get Olivia. Orsino’s love to one of his servants is also evident, even though it is a different kind of love; Orsino is also very connected to one of his servants Cesario. Cesario is who takes care of trying to get to Orsino’s love.
As said before, Orsino is obsessed with Olivia. During the first two acts Orsino tries to get to Olivia by sending his servants to deliver messages. “O! Then unfold the passion of my love; Surprise her with discourse of my dear faith (Shakespeare, 40)” In this quotes it is possible to clearly see the way Orsino loves Olivia. This passage also illustrates how the duke is trying to get her. “Get thee to yond same sovereign cruelty; Tell her, my love, more noble than the world, Prizes no quantity of land, The parts that fortune hath bestowed upon her, Tell her, I hold as giddily as fortune; But ‘tis that miracle and queen of gems, That nature pranks her in, attracts my soul”(Shakespeare 91) After various scenes Orsino wanted one of his servants to say this to Olivia. That is another example of the obsession Orsino for Olivia.
Orsino’s love for Cesario is also evident, but it is a different love. ”There is no woman’s sides, Can bide the beating of so strong a passion, As love doth give my heart; no woman’s heart, So big, to hold so much; they lack retention. 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. Make no compare between that love women can bear me and that I owe Olivia (Shakespeare 96)” In this passage Orsino gives love advice to Cesario. Orsino certainly does not feel the way a normal master feels towards his servant. This, in my opinion, demonstrates that Orsino loves Cesario in a certain way.
In conclusion, Orsino expresses loves throughout the play. Firstly, Orsino shows the love he feels towards Olivia, which is an obsession. Then, the reader, evidently, sees how Orsino starts to bond with Cesario. Orsino is the main character because the whole play is talking about his love relationships, toward Olivia and towards Cesario.
Works CitedShakespeare, William, “Twelfth Night”, Hauppauge, NY, Barron’s Educational Series, Inc., 1984. Print.