Summary Plot Overview. 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...
- No Fear Translation
From a general summary to chapter summaries to explanations...
- 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
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.
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 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; or What You Will was composed by William Shakespeare in either 1600 or 1601 as the last of his three \\"mature comedies\\" (the other two being Much Ado About Nothing and As You Like It). Like his early comedies, The Comedy of Errors or The Taming of the Shrew for instance, Twelfth Night is essentially a celebration of romantic love and can be viewed as a traditional romantic comedy. The play has many of the elements common to Elizabethan romantic comedy, including the devices of mistaken identity, separated twins, and gender-crossing disguise, and its plot revolves around overcoming obstacles to \\"true\\" love. And, like other representatives of the genre, Twelfth Night also features a subplot in which a self-inflated \\"sour\\" or \\"blocking\\" character, the steward Malvolio, is brought to his knees through a trick orchestrated by a ribald if also self-inflated character in the person of Sir Toby Belch.
But unlike his early comedies, Shakespeare also strikes some discordant notes in Twelfth Night, including a conception of love and other themes that are not part of the conventional romantic comedy formula. Thus, for example, the subject of insanity surfaces as a salient theme and as a force within the plot. Indeed, while Twelfth Night concludes with tandem weddings, Shakespeare also speaks about the madness of love.
Viola and Sebastian, brother and sister twins who closely resemble each other, are separated when the ship on which they are passengers is wrecked during a great storm at sea. Each thinks that the other is dead and sets out alone with no hope of being reunited.
While wandering about the city, Antonio chances upon the duel between Cesario and Sir Andrew. Mistaking the disguised page for her brother, Antonio immediately goes to the rescue of his supposed friend. When officers arrive on the scene, one of them recognizes Antonio and arrests him in the name of the duke. Thinking that Viola is Sebastian, Antonio asks her to return his purse and is surprised and hurt when she disclaims all knowledge of the captains money. As Antonio is dragged away, he shouts invectives at Sebastian for not returning his purse, thereby alerting Viola to the fact that her brother is still alive. Meanwhile, the real Sebastian is being followed by Sir Andrew, who never dreamed that this young man is not the same Cesario with whom he just dueled. Prodded by Sir Toby and Maria, Sir Andrew engages Sebastian in a new duel and is promptly wounded, along with Sir Toby. Olivia then interferes and has Sebastian taken to her home, thinking that he is Cesario. After sending for a priest, she marries the surprisedbut not unwillingSebastian. As the officers escort Antonio past Olivias house, Orsinoaccompanied by Cesarioappears at her gates. Orsino recognizes Antonio instantly and demands to know why the sailor returned to Illyriaa city filled with his enemies. Antonio explains that he rescued and befriended the dukes present companion, Sebastian, and because of his deep friendship for the lad accompanied him to Illyria despite the danger his visit involves. Pointing to Cesario, he sorrowfully accuses the person he supposes to be Sebastian of violating their friendship by not returning his purse. The duke is protesting against Antonios accusation when Olivia appears and salutes Cesario as her husband. Now the duke also begins to think his page ungrateful, especially since he told Cesario to press his own suit with Olivia. Just then Sir Andrew and Sir Toby arrive, looking for a doctor because Sebastian wounded them. Seeing Cesario, Sir Andrew begins to rail at him for his violence until Olivia dismisses the two old men. The real Sebastian then appears and apologizes for having wounded the old men.
Spying Antonio, Sebastian joyfully greets his friend. Antonio and the rest of the amazed group, unable to believe what they see, stare from Cesario to Sebastian. After Viola reveals her true identity and explains how she and her brother became separated, she and Sebastian greet each other warmly. Seeing that the page of whom he grew so fond is a woman, Duke Orsino declares that he will marry her.
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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...
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