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Word Count: 813
In Shakespeares Twelfth Night a number of characters have distorted visions of what love and especially romantic love are Duke Orsino begins the plat as a self-loving egotistical man deluded by his own amorous fancies Olivia the woman he believes he is in love with is a proud mistress who has voluntarily cloistered herself for seven years to mourn her brothers death as a mode for hiding her own insecurities Viola is Orsinos faithful disguised servant who sacrifices her own happiness and love to help him court Olivia The situation becomes further complicated when Olivia believes she has fallen for Cesario the man Viola is impersonating As the play proceeds Orsino and Olivia show few signs of changing and remain self-centered and delusional about the meaning of love Viola on the other hand proves her love genuine and worthy through her steadfast faith to Orsinos cause and the sacrifices she makes for him As the play opens Duke Orsino is a self-centered love obsessed fool who pines over Olivia in his castle all day As the play closes the only thing changed is the object of his affection From the start Orsinos motives are questionable O when mine eyes did see Olivia first me thought she purged the air of pestilenceII 20 Even as he exclaims his love it is obviously only based on attraction for he never says anything of her character or personality In fact one isnt even sure the two have ever met So instead of speaking about Olivia Orsino pompously elaborates on the power of his love Tell her my love more noble than the world Prizes not the quantity of dirty landsIIIV 92-93 Orsino is more enamored with his own noble love than he is with Olivia He goes on to boast of his passion There is no womans sides can bide the beating of so strong a passion As love doth give my heart IIIV 106-107 Orsino even contradicts
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