In Twelfth Night, what is the significance of Duke Orsino's opening speech (1.1.1–15)?

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The Duke's opening speech is as follows:

If music be the food of love, play on.
Give me excess of it that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
That strain again, it had a dying fall.
Oh, it came o'er my ear like the sweet sound,
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odor. Enough, no more.
'Tis not so sweet now as it was before.
O spirit of love, how quick and fresh art thou,
That, notwithstanding thy capacity
Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there,
Of what validity and pitch soe'er,
But falls into abatement and low price
Even in a minute. So full of shapes is fancy
That it alone is high fantastical.

This opening speech is significant, first, because it is given by a person associated with authority: a duke. It's interesting that, here, an authority figure talks not about law and order (contrast this, for example, to the opening speech of Prince Escalus in Romeo and Juliet , who lays down the law and threatens death to the feuders unless they end the street brawls) but...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 644 words.)

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