Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I like Brian Hamlin's discovery about Orsino. In Orsino's opening speech, "fancy" is all-consuming, crazy-hungry love--eros unbound--which no single object of love can fulfill. As soon as a person (or, perhaps a man, more than a woman) achieves the object of his desire than that object is diminished and made tawdry by the having, and ever-hungry eros remains as ravenous as before. For the duration of the play, Orsino believes that only Olivia can sate this appetite. But, in the final scene, he finally takes Cesario/Viola as his "fancy's queen." S/he finally sates his appetite. Brian's discovery is that during the play Orsino has gained an education in what love really looks like in the companionship of Cesario. When he has learned that Cesario/Viola--who has his own mind and speaks it--offers more love through friendship than a woman can through distant desire, he marries her.

It probably says something tawdry about me that I missed this. Thanks, Brian.

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