Symbol

Symbol: In addition to having its own meaning and reality, a symbol represents abstract ideas and qualities, by giving them symbolic meanings that are different from their literal sense.

Example: “So please my lord, I might not be admitted,
But from her handmaid do return this answer:”
-Valentine (I, i, 24-25)

Function:
Context: Duke Orsino was just talking to another one of his servants, Curio, about his affections for Olivia. He feels that his heart is being hunted by his fondness for Olivia. It had chased him around since he has deep love for Olivia but she does not return his love. He sent his servant Valentine to Olivia’s house to try to talk to her and convince her to marry Duke Orsino. When Valentine gets back, the Duke wants to know what happened with Olivia but Valentine had very little to say since he could not have the chance with speak with her. Olivia does not want to see suitors for the next seven years as she is mourning her brothers death.

Concept: Valentine’s name symbolizes the emotion of love and the holiday, Valentine’s Day, which is the celebration of someone special, usually a person you love. This is symbolic because the Duke has Valentine, his servant, who goes and tries to win Olivia over for him. He is delivering an errand of love for the Duke, but was not allowed to speak to Olivia. He helped Duke Orsino deliver messages to Olivia before Cesario came along. Valentine is a messenger of love, hence his name, because he wants to see and speak to Olivia and convince her to like the Duke. His motive was purely to help Duke Orsino and win Olivia over to see if she will marry the Duke. Valentine’s pure intentions was trying to woo Olivia for the Duke.