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Twelfth Night Character List
- Orsino, Duke or Count of Illyria. Though his title in the play is disputed, Orsino is the ruler of Illyria, with some naval experience behind him.
- Curio, Valentine. Two of Orsino's attendants. ...
- First Officer, Second Officer. ...
- Viola. ...
- A Sea-Captain. ...
- Sebastian. ...
- Antonio. ...
- Olivia. ...
- Maria. ...
- Sir Toby. ...
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- Viola. A young woman of aristocratic birth, and the play’s protagonist. Washed up on the shore of Illyria when her ship is wrecked in a storm, Viola decides to make her own way in the world.
- Orsino. A powerful nobleman in the country of Illyria. Orsino is lovesick for the beautiful Lady Olivia, but becomes more and more fond of his handsome new page boy, Cesario, who is actually a woman—Viola.
- Olivia. A wealthy, beautiful, and noble Illyrian lady, Olivia is courted by Orsino and Sir Andrew Aguecheek, but to each of them she insists that she is in mourning for her brother, who has recently died, and will not marry for seven years.
- Sebastian. Viola’s lost twin brother. When he arrives in Illyria, traveling with Antonio, his close friend and protector, Sebastian discovers that many people think that they know him.
Dramatic personae: a list of characters in Twelfth Night. Sir Toby Belch is Olivia’s uncle and something of a minor-league Falstaff. A penniless drunkard who sets stock by his nobility of birth, with a taste for pickled herrings that likely leave him flatulent, he makes himself quite at home at his niece’s.
Character List Orsino The Duke of Illyria and its ruler. At the opening of the comedy, he is desperately in love with Lady Olivia, who spurns his romantic overtures in spite of the fact that he is a perfect and ideal gentleman.
- Antonio. Antonio is a sea captain and a friend of Sebastian’s. He is generous, kind, and loyal to a fault. His selfless nature leads him into trouble, as does his intense love for Sebastian.
- Sir Toby Belch. Sir Toby Belch is Lady Olivia’s uncle. He is one of the more comedic characters in Twelfth Night, engaging in tricks, jokes, and hijinks.
- Maria. Maria is Lady Olivia’s lady-in-waiting. She is witty, intelligent, and fast-paced. Maria is also the love interest of Sir Toby and banters with him throughout the play.
- Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Sir Andrew Aguecheek—the word “ague” means shivering—is a foolish and cowardly knight. Although supposedly of a high social status, Sir Andrew lacks knowledge and often misspeaks throughout Twelfth Night.
- Viola (Cesario) The protagonist of Twelfth Night. An aristocratic woman, she is tossed up on the coast of Illyria by a shipwreck at the beginning of the play and disguises herself as the pageboy, Cesario… read analysis of Viola (Cesario)
- Orsino. The Duke and ruler of Illyria. At the beginning of the play Orsino is obsessed by his unrequited love for Olivia . However, in the final scene, when Orsino discovers that Cesario is in fact… read analysis of Orsino.
- Olivia. A beautiful noblewoman in Illyria. At the beginning of the play, she has rejected both Orsino and her ridiculous suitor, Sir Andrew Aguecheek. In mourning for her recently deceased brother, she has vowed not… read analysis of Olivia.
- Sebastian. Viola's twin brother, whom she believes is lost at sea, and who likewise thinks she's dead. Sebastian is noble and capable of strong, deeply felt emotion, just like his sister.
Twelfth Night study guide contains a biography of William Shakespeare, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
For an analysis of various characters in Twelfth Night, one may refer to Pinaki Roy's essay “Epiphanies: Rereading Select Characters in William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night”, published in Yearly Shakespeare – 2012 ISSN 0976-9536 10, April 2012: 53–60.
Characters. See a complete list of the characters in Twelfth Night and in-depth analyses of Viola, Orsino and Olivia, Malvolio, Sebastian, and Antonio.
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