Courtly Love In Twelfth Night

1042 Words5 Pages
The Antithetic Ways of Love Love appears to materialize whenever, however, and to whomever it pleases, not often leading its victim to consider its many forms. Courtly love, established in the medieval days, and romantic love, a more popular present-day form of love, both play a role in society and in William Shakespeare’s influential play, Twelfth Night. Additionally, Noël Bonneuil’s article, “Arrival of Courtly Love: Moving in the Emotional Space,” as well as Camille Slight’s, “The Principle of Recompense in 'Twelfth Night',” help illustrate the role of courtly and romantic love in both Twelfth Night and in modern times. Introduced amid the medieval times, courtly love became very popular due to the excitement and energy it brought as well…show more content…
Despite the fact that many couples in the medieval times practiced courtly love, some found romantic and traditional love more appealing. Noël Bonneuil makes use of the Bandwagon fallacy and falsely states, “The emotional and social tumult introduced by courtly love presents people with reasons to live, combats to devote a life to: it allows the aristocratic group to define its identity,” (Bonneuil 261). Bonneuil groups all aristocrats together, stating they all depend on the law of courtly love to determine their existence. However, the most prominent romantic love couple, the Duke and Viola, prove this statement misleading. Professing his love for Viola, Orsino says, “We will not part from hence. Cesario, come, for so you shall be while you are a man. But when in other habits you are seen, Orsino’s mistress, and his fancy’s queen,” (V.i.408-411). Ultimately, the Duke truly feels content through the mutual affection between him and his romantic love, Viola. In the unusually altered beginning of Twelfth Night Viola disguises herself as Cesario, whom with which Olivia promptly falls in love with. In her article, “The Principle of Recompense in ‘Twelfth Night’” author Camille Slights writes, “As Cesario she clearly tells Olivia that she can never love her but, even so, she accepts Olivia's gifts, sparing her the pain and humiliation of having these symbols of love rejected,” (Slights 544). Slights illustrates various ideas within this sentence, one showing Olivia’s persistence in winning over Cesario with gifts and inextinguishable love. Furthermore, Olivia’s love for Cesario clearly proves itself as romantic love as she abandons her grieving promise contrived from the death of her brother and father. Unlike courtly love, romantic love proves steadfast and often ends pleasantly for all people, including the couples in Twelfth
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