Twelfth Night

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Hallucination Symbol Analysis

Hallucination Symbol Icon
At different points in the play, characters speak of having hallucinations and compare the feeling of being in love to hallucinating. By connecting love with hallucinations, Shakespeare stresses that love is often based on misperceptions, mistakes, or fantasies imagined by the lover, rather than on real characteristics of the beloved.

Hallucination Quotes in Twelfth Night

The Twelfth Night quotes below all refer to the symbol of Hallucination. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Desire and Love Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Simon & Schuster edition of Twelfth Night published in 2004.
Act 1, scene 1 Quotes
So full of shapes is fancy
That it alone is high fantastical.
Related Characters: Orsino (speaker)
Related Symbols: Hallucination
Page Number: 1.1.14-15
Explanation and Analysis:

In his first speech, Orsino laments the melancholy nature of love. He notes that love can manifest itself in many different ways, making it magical. Thus, he argues, love "alone" is the only true form of imagination. This moment gives readers an insight into Orsino's views on love, and also foreshadows the "shapes" and disguises characters will take on throughout Twelfth Night. Orsino's speech is dramatic and excessive. While he enjoys talking about love,we will learn that his feelings are actually quite fickle. He loves the idea of love as well as performing the act of being melancholy and heartbroken. In this speech he also sets the stage for love to be seen as a magical and deceptive undertaking, something that will appear more clear as Viola and Olivia begin their own journeys in the play. 


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Hallucination Symbol Timeline in Twelfth Night

The timeline below shows where the symbol Hallucination appears in Twelfth Night. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, scene 1
Desire and Love Theme Icon
Melancholy Theme Icon
Madness Theme Icon
Deception, Disguise, and Performance Theme Icon is so "full of shapes," constantly changing its objects, that it is like a hallucination. (full context)