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Twelfth Night
Act 1, scene 2

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Characters in the Play

Entire Play

Twelfth Night—an allusion to the night of festivity preceding the Christian celebration of the Epiphany—combines love, confusion, mistaken identities, and…

Act 1, scene 1

At his court, Orsino, sick with love for the Lady Olivia, learns from his messenger that she is grieving for…

Act 1, scene 2

On the Adriatic seacoast, Viola, who has been saved from a shipwreck in which her brother may have drowned, hears…

Act 1, scene 3

At the estate of Lady Olivia, Sir Toby Belch, Olivia’s kinsman, has brought in Sir Andrew Aguecheek to be her…

Act 1, scene 4

At Orsino’s court, Viola, disguised as a page and calling herself Cesario, has gained the trust of Orsino, who decides…

Act 1, scene 5

Viola, in her disguise as Cesario, appears at Olivia’s estate. Olivia allows Cesario to speak with her privately about Orsino’s…

Act 2, scene 1

A young gentleman named Sebastian, who has recently been saved from a shipwreck in which his sister has been lost,…

Act 2, scene 2

Malvolio finds the disguised Viola and “returns” the ring. Viola, alone, realizes that Olivia has fallen in love with Cesario…

Act 2, scene 3

At Olivia’s estate, Toby, Andrew, and the Fool hold a late night party. Maria comes in to quiet them, followed…

Act 2, scene 4

Orsino asks for a song to relieve his love-longing. In conversation about the capacities for love in men and in…

Act 2, scene 5

Maria lays her trap for Malvolio by placing her forged letter in his path. From their hiding place, Toby, Andrew,…

Act 3, scene 1

Viola (as Cesario), on her way to see Olivia, encounters first the Fool and then Sir Toby and Sir Andrew….

Act 3, scene 2

Sir Andrew, convinced that Olivia will never love him, threatens to leave. Sir Toby persuades him that he can win…

Act 3, scene 3

Antonio, having followed Sebastian, explains the incident in his past that keeps him from safely venturing into the streets of…

Act 3, scene 4

Malvolio, dressed ridiculously and smiling grotesquely, appears before an astonished Olivia. Thinking him insane, she puts him in the care…

Act 4, scene 1

The Fool encounters Sebastian, whom he mistakes for Cesario. When Sir Andrew and Sir Toby attack Sebastian, the Fool fetches…

Act 4, scene 2

Under directions from Sir Toby, the Fool disguises himself as a parish priest and visits the imprisoned Malvolio. In his…

Act 4, scene 3

While Sebastian is sure that neither he nor Olivia is insane, he is amazed by the wonder of his new…

Act 5, scene 1

Orsino, at Olivia’s estate, sends the Fool to bring Olivia to him. Antonio is brought in by officers and he…

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Scene 2
Enter Viola, a Captain, and Sailors.

VIOLA What country, friends, is this?
CAPTAIN This is Illyria, lady.
VIOLA 
 And what should I do in Illyria?

11
Twelfth Night
ACT 1. SC. 2

 My brother he is in Elysium.
5 Perchance he is not drowned.—What think you,
 sailors?
CAPTAIN 
 It is perchance that you yourself were saved.
VIOLA 
 O, my poor brother! And so perchance may he be.
CAPTAIN 
 True, madam. And to comfort you with chance,
10 Assure yourself, after our ship did split,
 When you and those poor number saved with you
 Hung on our driving boat, I saw your brother,
 Most provident in peril, bind himself
 (Courage and hope both teaching him the practice)
15 To a strong mast that lived upon the sea,
 Where, like Arion on the dolphin’s back,
 I saw him hold acquaintance with the waves
 So long as I could see.
VIOLA, giving him money  For saying so, there’s gold.
20 Mine own escape unfoldeth to my hope,
 Whereto thy speech serves for authority,
 The like of him. Know’st thou this country?
CAPTAIN 
 Ay, madam, well, for I was bred and born
 Not three hours’ travel from this very place.
VIOLA 25Who governs here?
CAPTAIN 
 A noble duke, in nature as in name.
VIOLA What is his name?
CAPTAIN Orsino.
VIOLA 
 Orsino. I have heard my father name him.
30 He was a bachelor then.
CAPTAIN 
 And so is now, or was so very late;
 For but a month ago I went from hence,

13
Twelfth Night
ACT 1. SC. 2

 And then ’twas fresh in murmur (as, you know,
 What great ones do the less will prattle of)
35 That he did seek the love of fair Olivia.
VIOLA What’s she?
CAPTAIN 
 A virtuous maid, the daughter of a count
 That died some twelvemonth since, then leaving her
 In the protection of his son, her brother,
40 Who shortly also died, for whose dear love,
 They say, she hath abjured the sight
 And company of men.
VIOLA  O, that I served that lady,
 And might not be delivered to the world
45 Till I had made mine own occasion mellow,
 What my estate is.
CAPTAIN  That were hard to compass
 Because she will admit no kind of suit,
 No, not the Duke’s.
VIOLA 
50 There is a fair behavior in thee, captain,
 And though that nature with a beauteous wall
 Doth oft close in pollution, yet of thee
 I will believe thou hast a mind that suits
 With this thy fair and outward character.
55 I prithee—and I’ll pay thee bounteously—
 Conceal me what I am, and be my aid
 For such disguise as haply shall become
 The form of my intent. I’ll serve this duke.
 Thou shalt present me as an eunuch to him.
60 It may be worth thy pains, for I can sing
 And speak to him in many sorts of music
 That will allow me very worth his service.
 What else may hap, to time I will commit.
 Only shape thou thy silence to my wit.
CAPTAIN 
65 Be you his eunuch, and your mute I’ll be.

15
Twelfth Night
ACT 1. SC. 3

 When my tongue blabs, then let mine eyes not see.
VIOLA I thank thee. Lead me on.
They exit.