William Shakespeare doesn’t waste any time in engaging his characters with one another. This helps make it obvious that from the play “Twelfth Night”, William Shakespeare thinks that love is fickle. The love plots and love triangles between Duke Orsino and Viola, Olivia and Sebastian and Olivia and Cesario further prove Shakespeare’s thoughts on love. With the unpredictable storyline, this play can get fast paced at times. Although, Shakespeare gets rid of that technicality by keeping “Twelfth Night” interesting with all the drama and confusion.
One way in which William Shakespeare thinks that love is fickle is through Duke Orsino and Viola.
“Why, so I do, the noblest that I have.
O, when mine eyes did see Olivia first,
Methought she purged the air of pestilence !
That instant when I’d turn’d into a hart;
And my desires, like fell and cruel hounds,
E’er since pursue me.” (Act 1, Scene 1 – pg. 9)
In this quote, it is evident that at the beginning of this play, Orsino is very much in love with Olivia. Since it is a Shakespeare play, this love does not last throughout the rest of the play. Although, for the meantime he wants to get his feelings out to Olivia so he does so through Viola/Cesario. Because of this, they spend time together and Viola quickly falls in love with Orsino. This can be found in the quote, “I’ll do my best to woo your lady; yet a barful strife ! Whoe’er I woo, myself would be his wife.” (Act 1, Scene 4 – pg. 37) Viola announces out loud that even though she will go to Olivia and try to win her over for Orsino, it is she who has the full intention of marrying him. This can be a greedy and selfish act from Viola if it wasn’t already clear that Olivia wants nothing to do with the duke. Although, Viola proves that she is loyal to Orsino throughout this play which helps reason out his actions at the end of the play.
“Madam, I am most apt to embrace your offer
(To Viola) Your master quits you; and for your service done him,