Examples Of Infatuation In Twelfth Night

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Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare shows the difference between love and infatuation. Characters such as Orsino and Olivia give examples of infatuation, whereas characters such as Viola demonstrate a proper understanding of love. Orsino’s feelings and actions towards Olivia show that he is infatuated with her. Olivia repeatedly tells Orsino that she is not interested in marrying him, yet he continues to pursue her. If Orsino truly loved Olivia he would stop bothering her, as that is clearly what she wants. His infatuation for her, however, makes him continue to send servants to court her for him, as he feels that he must have her. Orsino has a strong desire for Olivia, stating that ever since his “eyes did see Olivia first” his “desires, like fell and cruel hounds, e’er since pursue” him. He is full of passion for Olivia, but he does not love her in a mature way. He is not very concerned for the good of Olivia, but rather he wants her love no matter how hard he has to try. A more mature and loving approach would be to understand that Olivia is not romantically interested in him and to stop trying to court her, as she does not want to be bothered by him any more.…show more content…
The first time she meets Viola she is strongly attracted to her, charmed by her “tongue…face…limbs, actions and spirit.” Olivia is quickly infatuated with Viola, but never shows signs of true love for Viola, such as compassion or concern for the good of her. Olivia simply wants to have Viola and shows a selfish attitude that is not consistent with real love. Olivia is so focused on physical attractiveness that she cannot tell the difference between Viola and her twin brother Sebastian, who looks almost exactly the same. The fact that she mistakes Sebastian for Viola shows that she has not taken much notice of many of Viola’s qualities besides her physical traits. If Olivia was more concerned
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