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Research paper example essay prompt: Twelfth Night - 1006 words
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Twelfth Night Comedic Conflict and Love in Trevor Nunns Twelfth Night Trevor Nunn's direction of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night takes away some of the confusion present in the reading of the text, which begins with the complicated love interests of the main characters. Having been the artistic director for the world famous Royal Shakespeare Company for eighteen years, Nunn is vastly familiar with adaptations of Shakespeares plays. Part of the comedy of this film develops from the first three acts of the play, which allow for a complex circle of interaction to develop within the film. Nunns use of the prologue at the beginning of the film presents crucial information in an easy to understand, witty way. The films prologue makes clear much of the plays primary confusion, and establishes the foundation on which the rest of the film may balance upon. Nunns adaptation of Twelfth Night begins with the founding relationship in the play, the designs that Orsino expresses for Olivia.
It is clear that this first interaction is the basis for others that occur, and it is also clear that both Shakespeare and Nunn utilize this interaction to create the comedic effects that happen because of the subsequent love interests. Orsino is not just an average courtly love, he is the Duke, and has considerable stature and respectability in his community. It is expected that his love for the Countess Olivia will be reciprocated, even in the midst of her grieving the loss of her brother. However, Duke Orsino's attempts at contact are met with disdain, but Olivia's lack of interest does not dissuade Orsino from continuing his pursuit. Duke Orsino is not a skilled romantic. His belief that he can compel Olivia into marriage through the expression of his feelings in messages demonstrates his lack of real passion in the situation and shows that he is of great stature, perhaps to belittle himself with courting. He is not Romeo hiding in the bushes for his Juliet, and this is one of the elements of separation that cause the comedic conflict to occur.
If Orsino had taken it upon himself to persuade Olivia personally, instead of sending messengers, the outcome of the film would have been significantly altered. Both Shakespeare and Nunn support the importance of Malvolio's role through the love that he has for himself, as well as his love for Olivia. While Malvolio's love for Olivia creates a sub plot, including the actions manipulated by Maria's deception, this only builds on the comedic effect that is created by the other loves that develop. The comedic conflict is further developed in Malvolios Puritanesque wardrobe of his suit and shoes. This comedy seen in Malvolios wardrobe is extended to the end of the film when Malvolio appears wearing bright yellow tights and cross belts.
Malvolio's character is significant because he at first attempts to bring an air of respectability and chastity to the whole film, though his essential flaws and his inability to recognize the reality of people's feelings, including Olivia's, removes him from the position of moral overseer to a simple player in the game of love. Malvolio's error is related to his self-perceptions and his consideration of his own self-importance, rather than his caring and compassion for his mistress Olivia. The other character of significance is Viola, and she is important in the development of the comedic conflict that occurs. She is a noblewoman who disguises herself as a boy, and becomes a servant of Orsino. Orsino uses Viola as a messenger to persuade the steadfast Olivia to hear his pleas of love.
The problem with this scenario is that in the process of winning a position with Orsino, Viola falls in love with him, thus her voice as a messenger for Orsino is complicated by her own feelings. The comedic conflict of love occurs primarily within this love triangle of Olivia, Orsino and Viola. Olivia falls in love with a girl pretending to be a boy, as Orsino subsequently falls for a boy, who, fortunately for him, is in actuality a girl. Instead of persuading Olivia on Orsino's behalf, Viola, who is called Cesario as a boy, attacks the love of Olivia, complicating the film. Viola does not immediately recognize the affections of Olivia, but when she does she realizes that Olivia loves someone who does not exist.
Cesario is a vision, an artificial character, and Olivia attaches her very determined sights on Cesario. This issue of disguise is vital to the comedy that occurs since it is the principle in which the comedy stems from. At the same time, Olivia uses Malvolio as a messenger to Viola (Cesario) and this adds to the complexity of these relationships, particularly that of Malvolio and Olivia. It appears that Maria's trickery is directly related to the feelings that Malvolio expresses for Olivia, because it is implied that Maria once had these same feelings for Malvolio, suggesting that her deception is an act of jealousy. Nunns adaptation of Viola's character is compelling because it demonstrates that she can feel love on countless levels.
Viola is intelligent, resourceful, witty, and charming. These are the qualities that help her to acquire the love of the Duke as well as the immediate love of Olivia. Viola demonstrates courtly love and romantic love for the Duke Orsino, and this fosters the complications that continue to mount. At the same time, Viola is also capable of feeling compassionate, brotherly love for Olivia, even after recognizing that Olivia loves her as Cesario. Viola deserves to be content with love since she is the only one who really knows what love is. She is the only one who experiences and suffers the true pain of unrequited love, rather than the distorted apparitions of those who are more fascinated with the torment of love, instead of love in its true fashion. Olivia's love for Viola (Cesario) is derived from her need to make an excuse to ward off Orsino, though Viola's characterization of a boy is both compelling and attractive.
Olivia is less ...
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