How does the Duke's opening speech contribute to Twelfth Night?

Essay by kkpHigh School, 11th grade June 2004

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The opening speech of Duke Orsino had contributed to Twelfth Night; it tells us the plot, setting and characters of Twelfth Night.

"If music be the food of love, play on;

Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,

The appetite may sticken, and so die."

Duke Orsino described love just like a monster, which could destroy everything else in life. He was saying that love is high and everyone wants more of it, but it may sticken a person to death. All else seems to be worthless in the world of love. This opening speech has shown that Duke Orsino is a romantic speaker, It also showed his passion for Olivia, who's a noblewoman in Illyia. He was powerless to stop loving Olivia, who had already infected his touches. He felt spiritless and distress as Olivia refused his love because of her brother's death.

The opening speech has also told us that the theme of the story is love, complicated love relationships between men and women.

The whole speech is about love; this tells us how love is important to the story. At least we know that Twelfth Night should be a love story. Romanic love is the play's main focus. At the beginning of the speech, love is happily presented, but then it suddenly changes to be sad. This shows that the plot of the story is very emotional.

From the speech, we know that Orsino is a well-educated and romantic person, "That, notwithstanding thy capacity receiveth as the sea, ..." & "O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet sound that breathes upon a bank of violets, ..." he compared love with with different things, for examples, the sea and flowers. Besides, Orsino is a rich man with high status at that time. In the...