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Posts Tagged ‘Illyria’

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.

 

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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

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Quote

 Starting Twelfth Night now

This is a play I have seen Three times.

  • Once at Chichester – with Patrick Stewart as Malvolio
  • Once at RSC – Stratford – with Richard Wilson and James Fleet
  • And in my local Theatre – Basingstoke Haymarket – (Cast of 7 so lots of doubling up)

Previous blogs see Archive page

So, let’s go to Illyria…

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