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Twelfth Night – Act Three Scene Four

Olivia is nervously waiting for Cesario to arrive

OLIVIA

I have sent after him: he says he’ll come;
How shall I feast him? what bestow of him?
For youth is bought more oft than begg’d or borrow’d.

Malvolio

Malvolio enters in yellow stockings and cross gartered. Olivia is horrified

MALVOLIO

Sweet lady, ho, ho.

OLIVIA

Smilest thou?
I sent for thee upon a sad occasion.

MALVOLIO

Sad, lady! I could be sad: this does make some
obstruction in the blood, this cross-gartering; but
what of that?

Malvolio is acting strangely to Olivia and smiling and talking “greatness”

OLIVIA

Why, this is very midsummer madness.

Mavolio is left in the “care” of Sir Toby and Maria. They pretend he is possessed by the devil.

SIR TOBY BELCH

…. How do you, Malvolio? how
is’t with you? What, man! defy the devil:
consider, he’s an enemy to mankind.

MALVOLIO

Do you know what you say?

MARIA

La you, an you speak ill of the devil, how he takes
it at heart! Pray God, he be not bewitched!

They taunt him and Malvolio, still under the spell of the letter leaves them

MARIA

Get him to say his prayers, good Sir Toby, get him to pray.

MALVOLIO

My prayers, minx!

MARIA

No, I warrant you, he will not hear of godliness.

MALVOLIO

Go, hang yourselves all! you are idle shallow
things: I am not of your element: you shall know
more hereafter.

Alone they congratulate themselves on the joke they have played

FABIAN

If this were played upon a stage now, I could
condemn it as an improbable fiction.

They decide to continue and escalate the “joke”

MARIA

Nay, pursue him now, lest the device take air and taint.

FABIAN

Why, we shall make him mad indeed.

MARIA

The house will be the quieter.

SIR TOBY BELCH

Come, we’ll have him in a dark room and bound. My
niece is already in the belief that he’s mad: we
may carry it thus, for our pleasure and his penance,
till our very pastime, tired out of breath, prompt
us to have mercy on him

Enter Sir Andrew

FABIAN

More matter for a May morning.

He has written the challenge to Cesario. Sir Toby and Fabian stir up Sir Andrew and Viola to fight each other. Praising the opponent and enjoying watching them squirm.

They draw and fight

Enter Antonio

ANTONIO

Put up your sword. If this young gentleman
Have done offence, I take the fault on me:
If you offend him, I for him defy you.

SIR TOBY BELCH

You, sir! why, what are you?

ANTONIO

One, sir, that for his love dares yet do more
Than you have heard him brag to you he will.

Antonio is arrested and he pleads to Viola for the money he gave her

ANTONIO

This comes with seeking you:
But there’s no remedy; I shall answer it.
What will you do, now my necessity
Makes me to ask you for my purse? It grieves me
Much more for what I cannot do for you
Than what befalls myself. You stand amazed;
But be of comfort.

He has mistaken Viola for her twin brother Sebastian and she denies having any money of Antonio’s

Antonio is led off believing that Sebastian has been betrayed him, Viola now knows that her brother may be alive.

Twelfth Night – Act Three Scene Three

Antonio has followed Sebastian

ANTONIO

I could not stay behind you: my desire,
More sharp than filed steel, did spur me forth;
And not all love to see you, though so much
As might have drawn one to a longer voyage,
But jealousy what might befall your travel,
Being skilless in these parts; which to a stranger,
Unguided and unfriended, often prove
Rough and unhospitable: my willing love,
The rather by these arguments of fear,
Set forth in your pursuit.

It is not safe for Antonio to walk abroad and wishes to go straight to lodgings

ANTONIO

Would you’ld pardon me;
I do not without danger walk these streets:
Once, in a sea-fight, ‘gainst the count his galleys
I did some service; of such note indeed,
That were I ta’en here it would scarce be answer’d.

He gives Sebastian his purse to go see the town while he goes to safety

ANTONIO

. Hold, sir, here’s my purse.
In the south suburbs, at the Elephant,
Is best to lodge:

They separate and agree to meet later. Remember that Sebastian’s twin sister is also in the town. What could possibly go wrong?

 

 

Twelfth Night – Act Three Scene Two

Sir Andrew is upset because Olivia is showing more attention to Cesario than him. He is leaving for home

Sir Toby and Fabian persuade him to stay

FABIAN

She did show favour to the youth in your sight only
to exasperate you, to awake your dormouse valour, to
put fire in your heart and brimstone in your liver.
You should then have accosted her; and with some
excellent jests, fire-new from the mint, you should
have banged the youth into dumbness. This was
looked for at your hand, and this was balked: the
double gilt of this opportunity you let time wash
off, and you are now sailed into the north of my
lady’s opinion; where you will hang like an icicle
on a Dutchman’s beard, unless you do redeem it by
some laudable attempt either of valour or policy.

Sir Toby suggests writing a challenge to Cesario to prove his valour

SIR TOBY BELCH

Go, write it in a martial hand; be curst and brief;
it is no matter how witty, so it be eloquent and fun
of invention: taunt him with the licence of ink:
if thou thou’st him some thrice, it shall not be
amiss; and as many lies as will lie in thy sheet of
paper, although the sheet were big enough for the
bed of Ware in England, set ’em down: go, about it.
Let there be gall enough in thy ink, though thou
write with a goose-pen, no matter: about it.

When Sir Andrew leaves to write this letter we see the real Sir Toby. He means to continue this jest to it’s conclusion, as he will with Malvolio

SIR TOBY BELCH

. For Andrew, if he were
opened, and you find so much blood in his liver as
will clog the foot of a flea, I’ll eat the rest of
the anatomy.

Maria enters in haste as Malvolio is coming dressed in yellow stockings. They go to laugh at him

Twelfth Night – Act Three Scene One

Viola meets Feste playing the tabour

VIOLA

Save thee, friend, and thy music: dost thou live by
thy tabour?

Clown

No, sir, I live by the church.

VIOLA

Art thou a churchman?

Clown

No such matter, sir: I do live by the church; for
I do live at my house, and my house doth stand by
the church.

Viola recognises him from Olivia’s house

VIOLA

Art not thou the Lady Olivia’s fool?

Clown

No, indeed, sir; the Lady Olivia has no folly: she
will keep no fool, sir, till she be married; and
fools are as like husbands as pilchards are to
herrings; the husband’s the bigger:

Feste goes to find Olivia and Viola muses on the fool

VIOLA

This fellow is wise enough to play the fool;
And to do that well craves a kind of wit:
He must observe their mood on whom he jests,
The quality of persons, and the time,
And, like the haggard, cheque at every feather
That comes before his eye. This is a practise
As full of labour as a wise man’s art
For folly that he wisely shows is fit;
But wise men, folly-fall’n, quite taint their wit.

When Olivia and Viola are left alone Olivia unburdens her heart to Cesario

OLIVIA

What is your name?

VIOLA

Cesario is your servant’s name, fair princess.

OLIVIA

My servant, sir! ‘Twas never merry world
Since lowly feigning was call’d compliment:
You’re servant to the Count Orsino, youth.

VIOLA

And he is yours, and his must needs be yours:
Your servant’s servant is your servant, madam.

OLIVIA

For him, I think not on him: for his thoughts,
Would they were blanks, rather than fill’d with me!

She declares her love for Cesario

OLIVIA

Give me leave, beseech you. I did send,
After the last enchantment you did here,
A ring in chase of you: so did I abuse
Myself, my servant and, I fear me, you:
Under your hard construction must I sit,
To force that on you, in a shameful cunning,
Which you knew none of yours: what might you think?
Have you not set mine honour at the stake
And baited it with all the unmuzzled thoughts
That tyrannous heart can think? To one of your receiving
Enough is shown: a cypress, not a bosom,
Hideth my heart

Viola departs and gives Olivia no cause to love her.

Twelfth Night – Act Two Scene Five

The trap is laid for Malvolio and Toby, Andrew and Fabian hide in a box tree to witness

MARIA

Get ye all three into the box-tree: Malvolio’s
coming down this walk: he has been yonder i’ the
sun practising behavior to his own shadow this half
hour: observe him, for the love of mockery; for I
know this letter will make a contemplative idiot of
him. Close, in the name of jesting! Lie thou there,

Throws down a letter

for here comes the trout that must be caught with tickling.

Malvolio, believing himself alone fantasises about being married to Olivia and chastising Sir Toby Belch for his drunkenness.

MALVOLIO

Saying, ‘Cousin Toby, my fortunes having cast me on
your niece give me this prerogative of speech,’–

SIR TOBY BELCH

What, what?

MALVOLIO

‘You must amend your drunkenness.’

SIR TOBY BELCH

Out, scab!

FABIAN

Nay, patience, or we break the sinews of our plot.

MALVOLIO

‘Besides, you waste the treasure of your time with
a foolish knight,’–

SIR ANDREW

That’s me, I warrant you.

MALVOLIO

‘One Sir Andrew,’–

SIR ANDREW

I knew ’twas I; for many do call me fool.

MALVOLIO

What employment have we here?

Taking up the letter

The trap is sprung

MALVOLIO

By my life, this is my lady’s hand these be her
very C’s, her U’s and her T’s and thus makes she her
great P’s. It is, in contempt of question, her hand.

SIR ANDREW

Her C’s, her U’s and her T’s: why that?

Why indeed?. Arden edition believe that “CUT” is slang for vagina, and making her P’s is urinating.

What follows is a riddle designed by Maria to play on Malvoilio’s vainness .

I’ve taken out the interjections from the hidden trio and just left Malvolio talking to himself

MALVOLIO

[Reads]
I may command where I adore;
But silence, like a Lucrece knife,
With bloodless stroke my heart doth gore:
M, O, A, I, doth sway my life.

‘M, O, A, I, doth sway my life.’ Nay, but first, let
me see, let me see, let me see.

‘I may command where I adore.’ Why, she may command
me: I serve her; she is my lady. Why, this is
evident to any formal capacity; there is no
obstruction in this: and the end,–what should
that alphabetical position portend? If I could make
that resemble something in me,–Softly! M, O, A,
I,–

M,–Malvolio; M,–why, that begins my name.

M,–but then there is no consonancy in the sequel;
that suffers under probation A should follow but O does

And then I comes behind.

M, O, A, I; this simulation is not as the former: and
yet, to crush this a little, it would bow to me, for
every one of these letters are in my name. Soft!
here follows prose.

Reads

‘If this fall into thy hand, revolve. In my stars I
am above thee; but be not afraid of greatness: some
are born great, some achieve greatness, and some
have greatness thrust upon ’em. Thy Fates open
their hands; let thy blood and spirit embrace them;
and, to inure thyself to what thou art like to be,
cast thy humble slough and appear fresh. Be
opposite with a kinsman, surly with servants; let
thy tongue tang arguments of state; put thyself into
the trick of singularity: she thus advises thee
that sighs for thee. Remember who commended thy
yellow stockings, and wished to see thee ever
cross-gartered: I say, remember. Go to, thou art
made, if thou desirest to be so; if not, let me see
thee a steward still, the fellow of servants, and
not worthy to touch Fortune’s fingers. Farewell.
She that would alter services with thee,
THE FORTUNATE-UNHAPPY.’
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 be 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-gartered;
and in this she manifests herself to my love, and
with a kind of 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 and my stars be praised! Here is yet a
postscript.

Reads

‘Thou canst not choose but know who I am. If thou
entertainest my love, let it appear in thy smiling;
thy smiles become thee well; therefore in my
presence still smile, dear my sweet, I prithee.’
Jove, I thank thee: I will smile; I will do
everything that thou wilt have me.

Malvolio exits and Maria enters and they will see the fruits of this jest

MARIA

If you will then see the fruits of the sport, mark
his first approach before my lady: he will come to
her in yellow stockings, and ’tis a colour she
abhors, and cross-gartered, a fashion she detests;
and he will smile upon her, which will now be so
unsuitable to her disposition, being addicted to a
melancholy as she is, that it cannot but turn him
into a notable contempt. If you will see it, follow
me.

Twelfth Night – Act Two Scene Four

Orsino is still in love and still demands music like in Act One Scene One

DUKE ORSINO

Give me some music. Now, good morrow, friends.
Now, good Cesario, but that piece of song,
That old and antique song we heard last night:
Methought it did relieve my passion much,
More than light airs and recollected terms
Of these most brisk and giddy-paced times:
Come, but one verse.

He takes Cesario aside and talks about love

DUKE ORSINO

Come hither, boy: if ever thou shalt love,
In the sweet pangs of it remember me;
For such as I am all true lovers are,
Unstaid and skittish in all motions else,
Save in the constant image of the creature
That is beloved. How dost thou like this tune?

VIOLA

It gives a very echo to the seat
Where Love is throned.

DUKE ORSINO

Thou dost speak masterly:

He realises that Cesario has been in Love before and questions him/her about the woman

DUKE ORSINO

What kind of woman is’t?

VIOLA

Of your complexion.

DUKE ORSINO

She is not worth thee, then. What years, i’ faith?

VIOLA

About your years, my lord.

DUKE ORSINO

Too old by heaven: let still the woman take
An elder than herself: so wears she to him,
So sways she level in her husband’s heart:
For, boy, however we do praise ourselves,
Our fancies are more giddy and unfirm,
More longing, wavering, sooner lost and worn,
Than women’s are.

VIOLA

I think it well, my lord.

DUKE ORSINO

Then let thy love be younger than thyself,
Or thy affection cannot hold the bent;
For women are as roses, whose fair flower
Being once display’d, doth fall that very hour.

VIOLA

And so they are: alas, that they are so;
To die, even when they to perfection grow!

 

Feste gives a sad song

 

Orsino instructs Cesario to go back to Olivia and profess his love again. Viola resists and hints that a woman may love him.

VIOLA

But if she cannot love you, sir?

DUKE ORSINO

I cannot be so answer’d.

VIOLA

Sooth, but you must.
Say that some lady, as perhaps there is,
Hath for your love a great a pang of heart
As you have for Olivia: you cannot love her;
You tell her so; must she not then be answer’d?

DUKE ORSINO

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 call’d 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.

 

Orsino doesn’t take the hint so Viola is bit more explicit

VIOLA
My father had a daughter loved a man,
As it might be, perhaps, were I a woman,
I should your lordship.

DUKE ORSINO

And what’s her history?

VIOLA

A blank, my lord. She never told her love,
But let concealment, like a worm i’ the bud,
Feed on her damask cheek: she pined in thought,
And with a green and yellow melancholy
She sat like patience on a monument,
Smiling at grief. Was not this love indeed?
We men may say more, swear more: but indeed
Our shows are more than will; for still we prove
Much in our vows, but little in our love.

DUKE ORSINO

But died thy sister of her love, my boy?

VIOLA

I am all the daughters of my father’s house,
And all the brothers too: and yet I know not.
Sir, shall I to this lady?

DUKE ORSINO

Ay, that’s the theme.
To her in haste; give her this jewel; say,
My love can give no place, bide no denay.

 

He still doesn’t take the hint. Poor Viola

Twelfth Night – Act Two Scene Three
A great comic scene with Toby Belch and Andrew Aguecheek

SIR ANDREW
Nay, my troth, I know not: but I know, to be up
late is to be up late.
SIR TOBY BELCH
A false conclusion: I hate it as an unfilled can.
To be up after midnight and to go to bed then, is
early: so that to go to bed after midnight is to go
to bed betimes.

They are drunk and when the clown, Feste enters they have a song and a dance. Much to the annoyance to everyone else in the house

MARIA
What a caterwauling do you keep here! If my lady
have not called up her steward Malvolio and bid him
turn you out of doors, never trust me.

And

MALVOLIO
My masters, are you mad? or what are you? Have ye
no wit, manners, nor honesty, but to gabble like
tinkers at this time of night? Do ye make an
alehouse of my lady’s house, that ye squeak out your
coziers’ catches without any mitigation or remorse
of voice? Is there no respect of place, persons, nor
time in you?

Maria has a plan to trick Malvolio

MARIA
Sweet Sir Toby, be patient for tonight: since the
youth of the count’s was today with thy lady, she is
much out of quiet. For Monsieur Malvolio, let me
alone with him: if I do not gull him into a
nayword, and make him a common recreation, do not
think I have wit enough to lie straight in my bed:
I know I can do it.
SIR TOBY BELCH
Possess us, possess us; tell us something of him.
MARIA
Marry, sir, sometimes he is a kind of puritan.
SIR ANDREW
O, if I thought that I’ld beat him like a dog!
SIR TOBY BELCH
What, for being a puritan? thy exquisite reason,
dear knight?
SIR ANDREW
I have no exquisite reason for’t, but I have reason
good enough.

Maria will write a note to Malvolio in the style of Olivia

SIR TOBY BELCH
What wilt thou do?
MARIA
I will drop in his way some obscure epistles of
love; wherein, by the colour of his beard, the shape
of his leg, the manner of his gait, the expressure
of his eye, forehead, and complexion, he shall find
himself most feelingly personated. I can write very
like my lady your niece: on a forgotten matter we
can hardly make distinction of our hands.

Sir Toby and Sir Andrew decide it’s too late to go to bed so carry on drinking and eating