Twelfth Night Important Quotes

“If music be the food of love, play on.” (I.i.1) Duke OrsinoHe’s hungry for love. Until he is full, and will throw it away until he is “hungry” again.
“That say tho art a man: Diana’s lip/ Is not more smooth and dubious; thy small pipe/ Is as the maiden’s organ shrill and sound,/ And all is semblative a women’s part.” Duke Orsino to Cesario Cesario is very feminine
“Whoe’er I woo, myself would be his wife.” (I.iv.42) Said by viola to herself Even though she has to woo Olivia for Duke, she is in love with duke.
“Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage.” (I.v.19) Said by the clown to Maria If he died then he wouldn’t have a good marriage.
“He is very well-favoured and he speaks very shrewishly; one would think his mother’s milk were scarce out of him” (I.v.159-162) Said by Malvolio to Olivia Malvolio is saying Cesario (Viola) is very handsome, speaks well, but he’s very young. He looks like he recently stopped breastfeeding.
“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” (I.v.268) Said by Cesario (Viola) to OliviaCesario is saying he would build a sad cabin by her house, where his soul will live. He will write love songs for her and sing them in the night, and scream her name across the land.
“Not to be a-bed after midnight is to be betimes” (II.iii.2) Said by Sir Toby to Sir AndrewIf we stay up past midnight, it’s technically morning. So they actually woke up early which is good for their health.
“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. / 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.ii.44-52) Said by Viola to the Captain Viola is asking the Captain to help her disguise herself as a man for to be the Duke’s servant. She offers to pay him if he completes the task. She also says to him that many beautiful people have terrible personalities, but the captain has both a beautiful mind and good looks. If he helps her, he will prove her true.
“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon ’em” (II.v.144-146) Said by Maria as Olivia to Malvolio in the love letterOlivia (Maria) is saying some people are born great, achieve their greatness in life, or are given great opportunities.
“This fellow is wise enough to play the fool / And to do that well craves a kind of wit” (III.i.60-61) Said by Cesario to Cesario Cesario is saying Feste is smart enough to play a clown, and it takes great humor and brains to be as funny as he is.
“Love sought is good, but giv’n unsought is better” (III.i.56) Olivia to Cesario Its better to receive love than to look for it.
“He does smile his face into more lines that is in the new map with the augmentation of the Indies.” (III.ii.78-80) Maria to Sir Toby, Sir Andrew, and Fabian Describing Malvolio’s smile as the map of the West Indies.
“I hate ingratitude more in a man / Than lying, vainness, babbling, drunkenness, / Or any taint of vice whose strong corruption / Inhabits our frail blood” (III.iv.354-357) Said by Cesario to Antonio Viola responds to Antonio she hates ungratefulness in a man more than anything.
“What relish is in this? How runs the stream? / Or I am mad, or else this is a dream. / Let fancy still my sense in Lethe steep; / If it be thus to dream, still let me sleep!” (IV.i.60-64) Said by Sebastian to himself Sebastian is questioning what is going on, thinking he is still asleep in a dream.
“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. / But mine is all as hungry as the sea, /And can digest as much. Make no compare / Between that love a / woman can bear me / And that I owe Olivia.” (II.iv.91-101) Duke to Cesario Women are not capable of loving as much as men.
“What would my lord, but that he may not have,Wherein Olivia may seem serviceable?Cesario, you do not keep promise with me.” Olivia to Cesario What can I give to you that you want, except for my love?
“Marry, sir, they praise me and make an ass of me, now my foes tell me plainly I am an ass. So that by my foes, sir I profit in the knowledge of myself, and by my friends, I am abused. So that, conclusions to be as kisses, if your four negatives make your two affirmatives, why then the worse for my friends and the better for my foes.” Said by Feste to Orsino He likes being with his enemies more than his friends because his enemies show him his weaknesses. His friends just tell him what he wants to hear.
“Give me thy hand, And let me see thee in thy woman’s weeds.” (V.i.) Said by Duke Orsino to Viola Let me see you in women’s clothes, so I can approve of your looks before I say I love you.