Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night Acts I-II depicts the victimization of love. The story is ironic because love is typically romanticized and is seen in a positive light. Love is generally thought of as brilliant, beautiful, and a joyous part of life. But Shakespeare dives into the other side of love that is dark, violent, and difficult to understand. The saying, “love is blind” stands true in this story. Characters are twisted and deceived all in the name of love. Shakespeare gives us a deeper understanding of what love can do to the perceptions of an individual who is enraptured in the idea of another. It is surprising and gurling to comprehend but is necessary to convey a contrasting view of love.
The fantasy that love evokes in one's imagination is initially evident in the relationship between Orsino and Olivia. Orsino is enraptured with the idea of Olivia and is completely in love with her though she does not return his affections and he truly does not know her. His imagination has carried him away and he is consumed by his efforts to advance their relationship. Viola is another character who is in love with someone whose affections are not returned. She loves Orsino. She then works for him under disguise as a character named Cesario who Olivia then falls in love with. In addition to this absurd love triangle, another character Malvolio falls in love with Olivia based on letters that were deceivingly written by Maria. The first two acts of the play show how deceptive people can be when love provokes them. It also shows how much people can suffer because of love. Orsino speaks of his woes, “my desires, like fell and cruel hounds / E’er since pursue me” (I.i.21–22 and Olivia also gives a recount of the suffering she endures, by calling it a “plague” (I.v.265). Viola also gives detail of her feeling towards Orinso, “My state is desperate for my master’s love” (II.ii.35). The love and longing each of these characters has for another results in great unhappiness and unfulfilled desires. It is a gruesome realization that thus far, the characters are unaware of.
During my time at Tunbridge Elementary School where I participate in service learning, the kids are not really exposed to this side of love from my perspective. They are so young and don’t know the darker side to emotions they consistently encounter as positive. For example the love they experience from their teacher, Mrs. Hazle is understanding and consistent. But what some of the children don't know, from my perspective is how hard it is for Mrs. Hazle to continuously be there for kids who are sometimes troublesome or hard to handle. Day in and day out she gives to those children who are at times, aren't as easy to give to. I am happy to do anything I can for her to ease up on the stress she has piled on top of her. For example, I grade papers that she would have to do at home, I help plan lessons or, file away graded tests in numerous folders.. It is tedious work but there is nothing better then seeing the relief on her face when I am able to help her in this small way. She is kind to her students and has really inspired me. I am an education major so being exposed to the hardwokring and exemplary educator she is had been very beneficial to me.
The connection to the readings is the relationship between the students and teacher and the side of the sacrificial love they are unaware of. Because they see what they are given as normal and also because they are in fifth grade, they are unaware of how much their teacher gives to them. In conclusion, love is a mysterious thing and in reality is conflicting and confusing. It pulls people in many directions and is difficult to understand. Truly understanding love is something I do not know if anyone can do.