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The play Twelfth Night was written by Shakespeare during the reign of Queen Elizabeth the first and was mainly shown during Epiphany which marks the end of the traditional twelve days of Christmas hence Twelfth Night The play was written to brighten people up because after Christmas in the 17th century the food was scarce and it was dark and cold Shakespeare probably wrote this comedy to brighten people up during this time of sadness The Play Twelfth Night is a romantic comedy Although it is termed a comedy the essentials of the play are serious The plays opening lines sound its major theme which is love if music be the food of love play on Some form of love dominates the feelings of all of the major and most of the minor characters including Malvolio The plays first line is spoken by Orsino who is deeply in love with Olivia Orsinos love is purely egotistical as he sees himself as a typical lover and wont accept refusal A misguided kind of love explains Olivias feelings for Viola Cesario The deception is based on physical appearance as quoted by Olivia in Act I Scene V I feel this youths perfections with an invisible and subtle stealth to creep in at mine eyes Well let it be Both Orsino and Malvolio are in different ways governed by the self-love which Olivia accuses Malvolio of at the end of act one scene five Violas love for Orsino is a love which is genuine and selfless as opposed to the vain and ambitious love shown by Orsino towards Olivia Another prominent theme in the play is disguise or mistaken identity Violas disguise is essential to the plot as it enables the audience to know more of the true situation when Olivia and Orsino are on stage and it is the cause of many of the dramatic complications and confusions which make up the
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