|Twelfth Night Plot Summary
||Orsino loves Olivia. Viola comes from the shore in a shipwreck and disguises herself as a man named Cesario to go work for Orsino. Viola in her Cesario disguise begins to love Orsino. Olivia then falls for Cesario because she thinks it’s a boy. Sir Andrew also likes Olivia. Maria pranks Malvolio by saying if he acts crazy, then Olivia will love him. Sebastian(Viola’s brother) turns out to be alive and Sir Andrew wants to fight him for the love of Olivia. Olivia mistakes Sebastian for Cesario and asks him to marry her. Sebastian says yes because she’s pretty. Viola is still disguised as Cesario. Cesario and Orsino go to Olivia’s house to meet her new husband Sebastian and Viola’s disguise gets revealed. Orsino now falls in love with Viola because she’s a girl. Sir Toby and Maria get married.
|“If music be the food of love, play on. Give me excess of it that, surfeiting the appetite may sicken, and so die. That strain again, it had a dying fall. Oh, it came o’er my ear like the sweet sound, that breathes upon a bank of violets, stealing and giving odor. Enough, no more. ‘Tis not so sweet now as it was before”
||Act 1, Scene 1 of Twelfth NightSpeaker: Orsino says this to Curio.Context: Orsino says he’s lovesick and wants the musicians to play him a love song that he can overdose on and won’t be lovesick anymore.After this opening speech: Orsino’s servant reminds Orsino that Olivia doesn’t love him back.Analysis: This addresses the historical critical reading response because Shakespearean people really believed lovesickness was a real disease that made you sick. It was called green sickness. Also, the speech uses end rhyme which gives it a musical flow like what Orsino is asking for.
|“Make me a willow cabin at your gate and call upon my soul within the house. Write loyal cantons of contemned love and sing them loud even in the dead of night. Halloo your name to the reverberate hills and make the babbling gossip of the air cry out “Olivia!”. Oh, you should not rest between the elements of air and earth, but you should pity me”
||Act 1, Scene 5 of Twelfth NightSpeaker: Viola as Cesario says this to OliviaContext: This is when Cesario tells Olivia what she/he would do if he were with Olivia. Before this speech: Malvolio tells Olivia a handsome young man wants to talk with her (He’s referring to Cesario)After the speech: Olivia falls in love with CesarioAnalysis: Speaks on the theme of gender by contrasting Orsino to Cesario. Orsino deals with love by complaining about it. Cesario(a girl) knows more about love and is more devoted to it.
|“I left no ring with her. What means this lady? Fortune forbid my outside have not charmed her! She made good view of me, indeed so much that sure me though her eyes had lost her tongue, for she did speak in starts distractedly. She loves me, sure! The cunning of her passion invites me in this churlish messenger. None of my lord’s ring? Why, he sent her none. I am the man. If it be so, as ’tis, Poor lady, she were better love a dream”
||Act 2, Scene 2 of Twelfth NightSpeaker: Viola says this to the audienceContext: She feel bad for having tricked Olivia because now Olivia loves Cesario.Before the speech: Malvolio threw the ring because he is mad that Olivia loves Cesario and not him.After the speech: Sir Toby, Sir Andrew and Feste are being loud and Maria tells them to shut up or Olivia’s servant Malvolio will kick them out.Analysis: This speech adds to the morale that love is pain. Malvolio is hurting. Viola feels guilty.
|“There is no woman’s sides can bide the beating of so strong a passion as love doth give my heart. No woman’s heart so big, to hold so much. They lack retention. Alas, their love may be called appetite no motion of the liver, but the palate, that suffer surfeit, cloyment, and revolt”
||Act 2, Scene 4 of Twelfth NightSpeaker: Orsino says this to CesarioContext: Orsino is saying that woman cant love because their bodies cant handle it. Before the speech: Viola almost blows her cover by nearly confessing she loves him.After the speech: Cesario tells Orsino that she might love him if he were a woman.Analysis: This adds to the play’s theme of gender because Orsino calls women weak.
|“Daylight and champaign discovers not more. This is open, I will be proud, I will read politic authors, I will baffle Sir Toby, I will wash off gross acquaintance, I will point — devise the very man. I do not now fool myself, to let imagination jade me, for every reason excites to this, that my lady loves me. She did commend my yellow stockings of late, she did praise my leg being cross-garterd and in this she manifests herself to my love, and with a kind injunction, drives me to these habits of her liking. I thank my stars I am happy. I will be strange, stout, in yellow stockings, and cross-gartered, even with the swiftness of putting on. Jove an my starts be praised!”
||Act 2, Scene 5 of Twelfth NightSpeaker: Malvolio is reading a letter prank from Maria that’s supposed to be from Olivia.Context: Malvolio thinks Olivia will now love him if he acts crazyBefore this speech: Maria devised this prankAfter this speech: Sir Toby, Maria and Feste laugh at Malvolio.Analysis: The color yellow is a symbol for social class. In Elizabethan times, only the wealthy wore bright colors and Malvolio is a servant.
|“Fie, thou dishonest Satan! I call thee by the most modest terms, for I am one of those gentle ones that will use the devil himself with courtesy. Sayest thou that house is dark?…Madman, thou errest. I say, there is no darkness but ignorance, in which thou art more puzzled than the Egyptians in their fog”
||Act 4, Scene 2 of Twelfth NightSpeaker: Feste says this to MalvolioContext: Feste is pretending to be the priest in the prank. Feste tells Malvolio that the room is light and Malvolio is possessed by a demon.Before the speech:Maria asks Feste to pretend to be a priest.After the speech: Sir Toby gets worried that Olivia will find out about the prank and be offendedAnalysis: Feste uses a biblical allusion where he refers to Hebrews getting engulfed in a green fog in Egypt.