How Do Twelfth Night and Casablanca Reflect the Times in Which They Were Made?

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How do “Twelfth Night” and “Casablanca” reflect the times in which they were made? Both “Twelfth Night” composed by William Shakespeare and “Casablanca” directed by Michael Curtis share a lot of common themes. They both have a play on love/romance, Social class and even a double meaning in their name. However, both of these texts are set in different eras and present these themes in a different light. In the play “Twelfth night” it is set when Christianity dominated England and when we had divine order. Casablanca on the other hand was set during World War 2 when the world was in a state of uncertainty over who was in control. Love as a cause of suffering is a huge concept in “Twelfth Night”. Shakespeare writes to show love can cause pain and many of the characters seem to view love as a curse and suffer painfully from it. Orsino depicts love as an “appetite” that he cannot feed. At another point of the play he names his desires for love “fell and cruel hounds”. In act 1, scene 5 Olivia says “Even so quickly may one catch the plague?” She’s using this metaphor to relate love to a disease saying if you have too much of it, it can make you sick. Love throws the characters and the play out of order, however that order is quickly put back into place when Shakespeare creates a Deus Ex Machina by making the character Sebastian turn up and fix everything. This reflects the times in Elizabethan society when they had divine order and a strict hierarchy. The Elizabethan society also had a belief in a divine plan. Sebastian symbolises Shakespeare’s plan to put everything back to normal. “Casablanca” also shows love as a cause of suffering. In this film, the conclusion isn’t as happy, or as simple. Not only do Rick and Ilsa have to split up twice throughout this film but neither truly knows what the other is thinking. Lazlo clearly and undoubtedly loves Ilsa, but Rick and

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