Discuss the two types of love, the Duke's and Viola's, in Twelfth Night. Duke Orsino is in love with the idea that he is in love while viola is in love with the real man, theDuke.

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kschweiz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

First, you must define each type. Whereas the Duke is simply in love with the concept of being in love, Viola is in love with another person. Many people fail to actually connect with another person when it comes to love, falling into the trap that is I am in love--how romantic! Rather than loving the other person, the Duke loves the idea that he has at last reached that elusive state, that he can no longer be excluded from the exciting and dangerous--and limited--club of those in love.

Alternatively, Viola loves the person. She cares nothing for the concept and is, in fact, pained by it because it restricts her in the present time period. Further, she had concerns--rightly so--that he could not love her as a woman, much less as a person. Her anguish comes from the fact that she loves the Duke for who he is, as opposed to what--and she is terrified that revealing herself would negate even the platonic love he might profess knowing her as a man.

In short, one love is wildly idealistic and romantic, while the other is a love of anguish and presumed inability to be requited.

nilly05 | Student

The duke's love and Viola's love are both different and alike at the same time. Firstly, The duke...... His love can be described as maybe more passionate/ desperate love because he has already been rejected by Olivia many times, but he still tries to get her in love with him. Viola's love on the other hand is more sacrificing and what we call "real love".. because when she meets Orsino, she says that she is attracted toward him but she will still do what he wants........(so she wants his happiness). I also said that their love is a bbit alike... and i said that because Viola's love is alo a bit desperate since she knew throughout the whole play that orsino loves Olivia. But in the end she still went with him as a couple...(knowing that she was always the second choice)

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Twelfth Night

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