In Alice Oseman's Loveless, after several failed scenes where Georgia has difficulty acting romantic roles, Pip gets her to try being the clown in Twelfth Night. This goes swimmingly:

"Come away, come away, death," I began, and I felt my breath catch in my throat.
I can do this.
"And in sad cypress let me be laid." I kept my voice soft. "Fly away, fly away, breath; I am slain by a fair cruel maid." And I read the rest of the song. And I felt all of it. I just felt ... all of it. The mourning. The wistfulness. The fantasy of something that could never happen.
I'd never experienced unrequited love. I never would. And Feste, the clown, wasn't even talking about himself—he was telling someone else's story. But I felt it anyway.
From the chapter titled "But If She Cannot Love You" from Part Three

This is such a change from the previous depictions of Georgia's acting that there must be some reason behind it. There's still romantic content in this scene, but it's not affecting her in the same way. Her ability to connect with the material seems important. It's something which probably should have an explanation, based on where her character is at this point. But I can't figure out what that is. Why does Georgia connect so well with the clown's song?


1 Answer 1


I think the reason why Georgia connects so well with the clown's song is due to her newfound insight into unrequited love, brought on by an epiphany of sorts.

Throughout the novel leading up to this moment, she has been unable to connect with romantic roles as they do not reflect her own personal experiences or understanding of relationships yet. This changes when a new perspective emerges; she suddenly realizes that although Feste (the clown) was telling someone else’s story in his poem "Come Away Death," he still speaks directly from experience and can thus represent what it feels like for many people: longing for something you cannot have no matter how hard you try—exactly the situation in which Georgia now finds herself, relationally speaking, after both former and potential relationships come apart at their seams over recent revelations about past events outside either person's control.

By empathizing with Feste's plight, Georgia suddenly gains an understanding of what it feels like to be in such a situation and these emotions render her performance undeniably powerful. Through the clown’s song she has discovered that even though unrequited love may hurt immensely, it can still provide strength for one to keep going despite all odds—in more ways than one. It is precisely this realization that allows her to fully connect with and ultimately pull off a beautiful performance in the play.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.