Twelfth Night In the kingdom of Illyria, a nobleman named Orsino lies around listening to music, pining away for the love of Lady Olivia. He cannot have her because she is in mourning for her dead brother and refuses to entertain any proposals of marriage. Meanwhile, off the coast, a storm has caused a terrible shipwreck.
- Act I, Scenes I–Ii
A summary of Part X (Section1) in William Shakespeare's...
- Character List
Antonio’s attraction to Sebastian, however, never bears...
- Themes Main Ideas
Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas...
- Act I, Scenes I–Ii
Twelfth Night Summary Viola, separated from her twin Sebastian, dresses as a boy and works for the Duke Orsino, whom she falls in love with. Orsino is in love with the Countess Olivia, and sends Viola to court her for him, but Olivia falls for Viola instead. Sebastian arrives, causing a flood of mistaken identity, and marries Olivia.
Plot Summary. Duke Orsino of Illyria is in love with Olivia, but his advances are rejected. A shipwrecked Viola arrives on his shores, and with the help of a Captain, disguises herself as a boy, calling herself Cesario, and enters Orsino’s service. Orsino takes to Cesario, and sends ‘him’ to woo Olivia for him.
Twelfth Night. The tale of a young woman who disguises herself as a man and becomes entangled in the courtship of two local aristocrats upends conventions of romance and gender roles. First staged in 1602, Twelfth Night is one of Shakespeare’s most performed plays. Read a character analysis of Viola, plot summary, and important quotes.
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In the kingdom of Illyria, the Duke Orsino laments over his unrequited love for the Lady Olivia, who is in mourning for her brother and has refused to see anyone for seven years. Meanwhile, a ship has been wrecked by a storm off the coast, casting the young noblewoman Viola onto shore.
- Plot summary
Count Orsino of Illyria is introduced; he laments that he is lovesick, and wishes that \\"if music be the food of love,\\" he could kill his unrequited love through an overdose of music. Orsino's servant Valentine, whom Orsino sent to give his affections to Olivia, returns; Valentine was not allowed to speak directly to Olivia, but Olivia sent a message, via her handmaiden, that Olivia will continue to mourn her dead brother, and will neither allow Orsino to see her or to woo her. Viola lands in Illyria, after a terrible shipwreck in which she was separated from her twin brother, Sebastian. Viola hopes that her brother was saved, as she was; the Captain, who also managed to get ashore, tries to console her of the hopes of finding her brother alive. The Captain recalls seeing her brother in the water after the shipwreck, clinging onto a mast, and riding above the waves. As it happens, the Captain is from Illyria, and tells Viola of Count Orsino, and of his love for Lady Olivia; the Captain also mentions Olivia's recent loss of both her father and her brother, and Viola, having lost her brother as well, commiserates with Olivia's situation. Viola proposes that she serve Orsino, since he is a good and just man; she conspires with the Captain that she may be presented to Orsino as a eunuch, and that her true identity as a foreign woman be concealed. The Captain agrees to help her, and he leads her to Orsino. Sir Toby, Olivia's drunken uncle, is approached by Olivia's handmaiden, Maria, about his late hours and disorderly habits. Maria also objects to one of Sir Toby's drinking buddies, Sir Andrew Aguecheek, a rather foolish man who Sir Toby has brought as a potential suitor to Olivia. Sir Toby has great affection for Sir Andrew, but Maria does not; she believes that Sir Andrew is a drunkard and a fool, and not to be suffered. Sir Toby attempts to introduce Sir Andrew to Maria; wordplay ensues from a series of misunderstandings, puns, and differing usages of words. Maria exits, and Sir Toby and Sir Andrew continue to quibble, with some amusing results; at last, they decide to start drinking. Fabian asks Feste for the letter Malvolio has written; Feste refuses this request, and then Orsino, with Viola, finds them. Viola points out Antonio, who is being brought to them by officers; Orsino remembers Antonio from a sea-battle, and Viola tries to defend Antonio from charges of crime by noting his kindness to her. Antonio claims that he rescued Viola from drowning, and that they have been in each other's company ever since; Orsino says that this is nonsense, since Viola has been serving him the whole time. Then, Olivia approaches them, still denying Orsino's love, while admitting her affection for Viola. Orsino becomes angry at Viola, rather than Olivia, because of these developments; he begins to suspect Viola of double-dealings, and out of his anger, he admits his love for Viola, still disguised as a boy. Viola, for the first time, declares her love for Orsino, much to Olivia's consternation; Olivia counters this declaration by divulging that she was married, to Viola as Cesario, she thinks. A priest confirms Olivia's account, and Orsino becomes even more angry at Viola. Sir Andrew and Sir Toby enter, charging Viola with fighting them and injuring them; Viola is again shocked, and confused. Suddenly, Sebastian dashes in, apologizing for injuring Sir Toby; he expresses his happiness at seeing Antonio again, and acknowledges Olivia as his wife. Viola and Sebastian see each other again, and there is a joyful reunion. Sebastian reveals to Olivia that she married him, rather than his sister in disguise; Orsino swears that he loves Viola, and will marry her. Then, the action turns to Malvolio's condition; his letter is read, and his condition explained. Malvolio is upset at his mistreatment, and Olivia attempts to smooth things over; Fabian explains his, Sir Toby's, and Maria's part in Malvolio's torment. Then, Feste inflames Malvolio's anger, and he leaves, in a huff.
Viola has now disguised herself as a boy, Cesario, and has been taken into the service of Count Orsino. Valentine remarks that Orsino and Viola, as Cesario, have become close in the short time that Viola has been employed; indeed, Orsino has already told Viola of his great love for Olivia. Orsino asks Viola to go to Olivia and make Orsino's case to the lady; Viola says she will obey, although she confesses in an aside that she already feels love for Orsino, and would rather be his wife than try to woo Olivia for him.
Sebastian debates with himself whether he is mad, or whether it is the Lady Olivia who is crazy, though this does not stop him. Olivia asks him to come with her to the parson and be married to her; Sebastian, though he is completely confused, goes to be married to her.
Orsino pronounces that happiness will stay with all of them, and that his marriage to Viola will soon be performed. Feste closes the play with a song about \\"the wind and the rain,\\" a reminder that even great happiness is not safe from life's storms.
Twelfth Night is a fast-paced romantic comedy with several interwoven plots of romance, mistaken identities and practical jokes. Separated from her twin brother Sebastian in a shipwreck, Viola...
Play Summary. Various critics divide Twelfth Night into various types of plots and/or subplots. Regardless of the exact number of plots and subplots, however, the main thing is that they are all woven together with immense skill to ultimately compose a single pattern or tapestry. There is, first, the group centering around the ducal nobility of Illyria: this group consists of Duke Orsino and his attendants, who open the play, and the Countess Olivia, who is the main topic of discussion of ...