18 April 2013
Last Event Blog
In the play Twelfth Night or What You Will by William Shakespeare, many people hide their love because they are scared of the consequences. During Zen meditation this week I reflected on relationships in college and especially at Loyola, everywhere from the relationship of the whole student body to relationships with individuals. Relationships at anytime in life are difficult especially when they involve love. Viola’s situation is especially difficult because she finds herself in a love triangle with Orsino and Olivia, the most powerful people in Illyria (not to add everyone thinks she is a man). People also do crazy things for love to to hide their love like Malvolio and Olivia do. Love can be tricky thing in both college and the play Twelfth Night but in both situations observers, who see through people hiding their love, hope that true love wins out over everything.
While meditating on this idea of hiding love or feelings made me think of something at Loyola called Loyola Crushes. Loyola Crushes is a Facebook page where people can anonymously tell other people how they feel about them. This is something that all the students can see so everyone can see what the lover posts but does not know who it is. Sometimes students use this because they are embarrassed to tell the person who they are, in fear of rejection, or they are not ready for anyone to know who they are. I thought this was a perfect example of hiding one’s feelings from the one they love. This also reminded me of Maria’s ‘love letters’ to Malvolio. Malvolio believes that these letters are from Olivia so this would be like someone being able to see who posted their confession on Loyola Crushes and no one knew. On one hand Olivia did not write these letters but Malvolio does not know that and makes a fool of himself trying to fulfill her wishes. Viola also goes to long lengths to not only hide her identity from Orsino but also hide her love from him. The situation is much more complicated because Orsino thinks she is a man and therefore she cannot be in love with her. In fact Orsino seems to be the only one in the play who does not hide his love from anyone.
During meditation I also reflected one why one would try to stop the one thing almost everyone seeks: true love. I may not be able to accurately speak for the characters in Shakespeare play but I can try. Viola hides her love because it would be dangerous for her to expose herself to the two most powerful people in Illyria as a woman. Malvolio hides his love because he seems too proud for rejection if Olivia does not love him back. Sir Andrew is afraid that Olivia does not love him as well because he is simply a peasant. Finally Olivia cannot not expose her love because she has fallen in love with a peasant from the house of the man who is in love with her. Olivia is also supposed to be in seven years of mourning for her brother. As for today people hide their love for any number of reasons including: fear of rejection, if the person they love, loves someone else, inappropriate time or place, etc. All of these reasons seem silly because one always hopes that love triumphs everything.
For the same reason people root for the hero instead of the bad guy, everyone roots for true love to defeat any obstacle so that two people truly in love can live happily ever after. In the case of Shakespeare’s love triangle (and others) complicated plot twists and underlying circumstances may get in the way at first but eventually love will win out.