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Twelfth Night – Act Two Scene Two

Enter Viola followed by Malvolio who returns the ring to Viola

MALVOLIO
She returns this ring to you, sir: you might have
saved me my pains, to have taken it away yourself.

Viola is confused as she gave no Ring to Olivia

VIOLA
She took the ring of me: I’ll none of it.
MALVOLIO
Come, sir, you peevishly threw it to her; and her
will is, it should be so returned: if it be worth
stooping for, there it lies in your eye; if not, be
it his that finds it.

Next comes Viola’s famous monologue

VIOLA
I left no ring with her: what means this lady?
Fortune forbid my outside have not charm’d her!
She made good view of me; indeed, so much,
That sure methought 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.
Disguise, I see, thou art a wickedness,
Wherein the pregnant enemy does much.
How easy is it for the proper-false
In women’s waxen hearts to set their forms!
Alas, our frailty is the cause, not we!
For such as we are made of, such we be.
How will this fadge? my master loves her dearly;
And I, poor monster, fond as much on him;
And she, mistaken, seems to dote on me.
What will become of this? As I am man,
My state is desperate for my master’s love;
As I am woman,–now alas the day!–
What thriftless sighs shall poor Olivia breathe!
O time! thou must untangle this, not I;
It is too hard a knot for me to untie!

 

Act Two Scene One

Antonio and Sebastian make thier first entrance. Sebastian wants to be alone

SEBASTIAN

My stars shine darkly over
me: the malignancy of my fate might perhaps
distemper yours; therefore I shall crave of you your
leave that I may bear my evils alone: it were a bad
recompense for your love, to lay any of them on you.

He tells the tale of his lost twin sister, drowned at sea. Although we know that she is alive.

SEBASTIAN

You
must know of me then, Antonio, my name is Sebastian,
which I called Roderigo. My father was that
Sebastian of Messaline, whom I know you have heard
of. He left behind him myself and a sister, both
born in an hour: if the heavens had been pleased,
would we had so ended! but you, sir, altered that;
for some hour before you took me from the breach of
the sea was my sister drowned.

He weeps for her

SEBASTIAN

She is drowned already, sir, with salt
water, though I seem to drown her remembrance again with more

Sebastian would rather travel alone and he leaves Antonio

ANTONIO

The gentleness of all the gods go with thee!
I have many enemies in Orsino’s court,
Else would I very shortly see thee there.
But, come what may, I do adore thee so,
That danger shall seem sport, and I will go.

Twelfth Night Act One Scene Five

Maria confronts the Clown, Feste who has been AWOL

MARIA

Yet you will be hanged for being so long absent; or,
to be turned away, is not that as good as a hanging to you?

Clown

Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage;

Feste prepares to meet his mistress, Olivia.

‘Better a witty fool, than a foolish wit.’

Olivia orders “the fool” to be taken away, but Feste calls Olivia “the fool”  Olivia demands an explanation

Clown

Good madonna, why mournest thou?

OLIVIA

Good fool, for my brother’s death.

Clown

I think his soul is in hell, madonna.

OLIVIA

I know his soul is in heaven, fool.

Clown

The more fool, madonna, to mourn for your brother’s
soul being in heaven. Take away the fool, gentlemen.

Maria informs Olivia that there is a messenger at the gate demanding audience. Sir Toby is holding him.

OLIVIA

Fetch him off, I pray you; he speaks nothing but
madman:

Sir Toby enters

OLIVIA

By mine honour, half drunk. What is he at the gate, cousin?

SIR TOBY BELCH

A gentleman.

OLIVIA

A gentleman! what gentleman?

SIR TOBY BELCH

‘Tis a gentle man here–a plague o’ these
pickle-herring!

Olivia asks the fool….

OLIVIA

What’s a drunken man like, fool?

Clown

Like a drowned man, a fool and a mad man: one
draught above heat makes him a fool; the second mads
him; and a third drowns him.

Viola enters, disguised as Cesario.

 VIOLA

Most radiant, exquisite and unmatchable beauty,–I
pray you, tell me if this be the lady of the house,
for I never saw her: I would be loath to cast away
my speech, for besides that it is excellently well
penned, I have taken great pains to con it.

Olivia dismisses Maria and hears Viola alone

OLIVIA

Give us the place alone: we will hear this divinity.

Exeunt MARIA and Attendants

Now, sir, what is your text?

VIOLA

Most sweet lady,–

OLIVIA

A comfortable doctrine, and much may be said of it.
Where lies your text?

VIOLA

In Orsino’s bosom.

OLIVIA

In his bosom! In what chapter of his bosom?

VIOLA

To answer by the method, in the first of his heart.

OLIVIA

O, I have read it: it is heresy. Have you no more to say?

VIOLA

Good madam, let me see your face.

OLIVIA

Have you any commission from your lord to negotiate
with my face? You are now out of your text:

She draws her veil

VIOLA

‘Tis beauty truly blent, whose red and white
Nature’s own sweet and cunning hand laid on:
Lady, you are the cruell’st she alive,
If you will lead these graces to the grave
And leave the world no copy.

OLIVIA

O, sir, I will not be so hard-hearted; I will give
out divers schedules of my beauty: it shall be
inventoried, and every particle and utensil
labelled to my will: as, item, two lips,
indifferent red; item, two grey eyes, with lids to
them; item, one neck, one chin, and so forth.

Viola insists that Orsino loves Olivia

OLIVIA

How does he love me?

VIOLA

With adorations, fertile tears,
With groans that thunder love, with sighs of fire.

OLIVIA

Your lord does know my mind; I cannot love him:
Yet I suppose him virtuous, know him noble,
Of great estate, of fresh and stainless youth;
In voices well divulged, free, learn’d and valiant;
And in dimension and the shape of nature
A gracious person: but yet I cannot love him;
He might have took his answer long ago.

Olivia sends Viola back to Orsino, yet something has changed in her cold manner.

OLIVIA

Get you to your lord;
I cannot love him: let him send no more;
Unless, perchance, you come to me again,
To tell me how he takes it. Fare you well:
I thank you for your pains: spend this for me.

VIOLA

I am no fee’d post, lady; keep your purse:
My master, not myself, lacks recompense.
Love make his heart of flint that you shall love;
And let your fervor, like my master’s, be
Placed in contempt! Farewell, fair cruelty.

Alone, we realise why Olivia has changed her manner

OLIVIA
Thy tongue, thy face, thy limbs, actions and spirit,
Do give thee five-fold blazon: not too fast:
soft, soft!
Unless the master were the man. How now!
Even so quickly may one catch the plague?
Methinks I feel this youth’s perfections
With an invisible and subtle stealth
To creep in at mine eyes. Well, let it be. 

She has fallen in love with Viola, who she believes is a man, or youth called Cesario.

OLIVIA

Run after that same peevish messenger,
The county’s man: he left this ring behind him,
Would I or not: tell him I’ll none of it.
Desire him not to flatter with his lord,
Nor hold him up with hopes; I am not for him:
If that the youth will come this way to-morrow,
I’ll give him reasons for’t: hie thee, Malvolio.

MALVOLIO

Madam, I will.

Exit

OLIVIA

I do I know not what, and fear to find
Mine eye too great a flatterer for my mind.
Fate, show thy force: ourselves we do not owe;
What is decreed must be, and be this so.

Twelfth Night – Act One Scene Four

Viola, disguised as Cesario has been working for Duke Orsino

VALENTINE

If the duke continue these favours towards you,
Cesario, you are like to be much advanced: he hath
known you but three days, and already you are no stranger.

Orsino has a mission for Viola. To go and profess his love to Olivia

DUKE ORSINO

Stand you a while aloof, Cesario,
Thou know’st no less but all; I have unclasp’d
To thee the book even of my secret soul:
Therefore, good youth, address thy gait unto her;
Be not denied access, stand at her doors,
And tell them, there thy fixed foot shall grow
Till thou have audience.

Viola is sceptical at success. Some nice dramatic Irony next

DUKE ORSINO

Dear lad, believe it;
For they shall yet belie thy happy years,
That say thou art a man: Diana’s lip
Is not more smooth and rubious; thy small pipe
Is as the maiden’s organ, shrill and sound,
And all is semblative a woman’s part.

We realise next why Viola is reluctant to go and woo Olivia

VIOLA

I’ll do my best
To woo your lady:

Aside

yet, a barful strife!
Whoe’er I woo, myself would be his wife.

Twelfth Night – Act One Scene Three

SIR TOBY BELCH

What a plague means my niece, to take the death of
her brother thus? I am sure care’s an enemy to life.

Says Sir Toby, who hasn’t a care in the world. Maria moans at him about his drinking and behaviour

MARIA

That quaffing and drinking will undo you: I heard
my lady talk of it yesterday; and of a foolish
knight that you brought in one night here to be her wooer.

SIR TOBY BELCH

Who, Sir Andrew Aguecheek?

MARIA

Ay, he.

SIR TOBY BELCH

He’s as tall a man as any’s in Illyria.

MARIA

What’s that to the purpose?

We hear about Sir Andrew Aguecheek from two different viewpoints

SIR TOBY BELCH

…. he plays o’ the
viol-de-gamboys, and speaks three or four languages
word for word without book, and hath all the good
gifts of nature.

MARIA

He hath indeed, almost natural: for besides that
he’s a fool, he’s a great quarreller: and but that
he hath the gift of a coward to allay the gust he
hath in quarrelling, ’tis thought among the prudent
he would quickly have the gift of a grave.

SIR TOBY BELCH

By this hand, they are scoundrels and subtractors
that say so of him. Who are they?

MARIA

They that add, moreover, he’s drunk nightly in your company.

SIR TOBY BELCH

With drinking healths to my niece: I’ll drink to
her as long as there is a passage in my throat and
drink in Illyria:

Sir Toby Belch and Friends

 

Right on cue, Sir Andrew Aguecheek arrives. He is egged on by Sir Toby to charm Maria

SIR TOBY BELCH

Accost, Sir Andrew, accost.

SIR ANDREW

What’s that?

SIR TOBY BELCH

My niece’s chambermaid.

SIR ANDREW

Good Mistress Accost, I desire better acquaintance.

MARIA

My name is Mary, sir.

SIR ANDREW

Good Mistress Mary Accost,–

SIR TOBY BELCH

You mistake, knight; ‘accost’ is front her, board
her, woo her, assail her.

A great comic scene follows between the two

SIR ANDREW

   . Methinks sometimes I have no more wit
than a Christian or an ordinary man has: but I am a
great eater of beef and I believe that does harm to my wit.

SIR TOBY BELCH

No question.

Also

SIR TOBY BELCH

Pourquoi, my dear knight?

SIR ANDREW

What is ‘Pourquoi’? do or not do? I would I had
bestowed that time in the tongues that I have in
fencing, dancing and bear-baiting:

Compare that to earlier

SIR TOBY BELCH

     he plays o’ the
viol-de-gamboys, and speaks three or four languages
word for word without book,
and hath all the good
gifts of nature.

Sir Andrew is not sure that Olivia is interested in him but Sir Toby reassures him to keep trying.

 

Twelfth Night – Act One Scene Two

Shipwreck

Viola and sailors have been washed up a shore after a shipwreck

VIOLA

What country, friends, is this?

Captain

This is Illyria, lady.

VIOLA

And what should I do in Illyria?

Viola’s twin brother was also on the ship and Viola is worried as he was separated from the rest, The Captain tries to reassure her

Captain

… and, to comfort you with chance,
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 practise,
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 hears about the count Orsino and the Lady Olivia who is in mourning for her dead brother. Viola decides to dress up like a man and gain employment with the Duke

VIOLA

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’ll serve this duke:
Thou shall present me as an eunuch to him:
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.

The Captain agrees.

So we have a shipwreck, a lost twin and a woman pretending to be a man. All the ingredients of a Shakespeare play in fact

 

Twelfth Night – Act One Scene One

Duke Orsino is at his court and obviously in a melancholy. He delivers the most famous opening lines in the canon

DUKE ORSINO

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:
O, it came o’er my ear like the sweet sound,
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odour! Enough; no more:
‘Tis not so sweet now as it was before.
O spirit of love! how quick and fresh art thou,
That, notwithstanding thy capacity
Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there,
Of what validity and pitch soe’er,
But falls into abatement and low price,
Even in a minute: so full of shapes is fancy
That it alone is high fantastical.

Curio tries to distract him

CURIO

Will you go hunt, my lord?

DUKE ORSINO

What, Curio?

CURIO

The hart.

DUKE ORSINO

Why, so I do, the noblest that I have:
O, when mine eyes did see Olivia first,
Methought she purged the air of pestilence!
That instant was I turn’d into a hart;
And my desires, like fell and cruel hounds,
E’er since pursue me.

Valentine tells him and the audience the background to Olivia and Orsino’s melancholy

VALENTINE
The element itself, till seven years’ heat,
Shall not behold her face at ample view;
But, like a cloistress, she will veiled walk
And water once a day her chamber round
With eye-offending brine: all this to season
A brother’s dead love, which she would keep fresh
And lasting in her sad remembrance.