OK, most of us have no idea what it would be like to lose a twin sibling in a ship-wreck before cross-dressing as a singing eunuch, only to discover that we are in love with a man, who is in love with a woman, who is in love with our disguise.
But, anyone who has ever been a teenager (yep, that's everybody over the age of twelve) knows a little something about being in love. We're betting you know exactly what it's like to try to keep that love a secret, too.
If you think about it, this is what Viola in Twelfth Night deals with. Check out how she describes her secret crush to the guy of her dreams without revealing to him that he's the object of her affection:
She never told her love,
But let concealment, like a worm i' th' bud,
Feed on her damask cheek. She pined in thought,
And with a green and yellow melancholy
She sat like patience on a monument,
Smiling at grief. Was not this love indeed? (-127)
We don't run around talking like this in our day-to-day lives (it might be fun, though), but Viola's speech captures perfectly that gut-wrenching, sickly "yellow and green" feeling that makes your cheeks flush red ("damask") and literally seems to eat away at your insides ("like a worm in the bud") when you're too afraid to do anything about it and you don't want anyone to know your secret, because you're afraid they won't love you back if they know who you really are.
Yep. That's it exactly . Secret crushes are brutal, especially when you're trying to figure out who you are and you're afraid that what people see on the outside doesn't match what you feel like on the inside. So, the next time you think nobody could possibly have a clue about what you're going through, crack open your copy of Twelfth Night and tell it to Uncle Shakespeare . He totally gets you.
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