How Does Feste's Song From Act 2 Scene 3 Of Shakespeare's 'twelfth Night' Relate To The Themes And Characters Of The Play?

1264 words - 6 pages

In Act 2 Scene 3 of Twelfth Night Feste enters the scene to have a drink and share some jokes with Sir Toby and Sir Andrew, who are both by this stage very drunk. Sir Toby requests a song from Feste, and this is seconded by Sir Andrew amidst a paragraph's worth of meaningless gibberish that he spews forth in his intoxicated state.Feste asks of the two, "Would you have a love song, or a song of good life?" The answer comes back from both as a love song, and this is indeed one of the three main themes of the song. The word itself is used a lot throughout the song, although it seems in fact to be more of a tool to get to the real message. The song is in an 'easy-to-hear' rhyming pattern and has ...view middle of the document...

This is ironic because even if there has been no attraction amongst characters for the whole of a comedy by Shakespeare, somehow at the end everyone always manages to get married.The second theme is the idea of travelling or journeying from place to place or to foreign lands. It makes good use of love, as has been said, as a 'tool' through which it can put itself forward. If we take a closer look at the entire first verse including the aforementioned extracts this becomes much more evident:O mistress mine, where are you roaming?O stay and hear, your true love's coming,That can sing both high and low.Trip no further, pretty sweeting;Journeys end in lovers meeting,Every wise man's son doth know.The key words regarding journeying have been underlined in the above example, helping to visually put across the size of the part that this theme plays in the song. The travelling idea relates to the play in that it is based a lot around coming and going between the two houses for the passing of gifts or messages. Also Viola has travelled to Illyria across the sea from a foreign land.The second verse is less focused on the second theme, travelling, and more now on a new third theme, that of transience, or time. This verse is even more closely connected with the play, and through it can be detected more than one message to characters in the story. There are also meanings behind the lines that are not meant only for the fictional men and women, but rather have applications in the real world as well.The first two lines give the impression that one must not waste time and hang about but instead make the most of the moment and have fun while you can:What is love? 'Tis not hereafter;Present love hath present laughter:'Decoded' you can see more clearly the intended meaning:Love will not stay forever;Love one another and enjoy yourselves now,These two lines could be part of a message to Olivia, that she should not waste time grieving for her brother when love is around (in the form of Orsino, although she's made things a little more complicated now after falling in love with the disguised Viola). As well as this Feste cleverly put to her...

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