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SUMMARIES

ACT 1

Orsino is listening to music and is saying how much he loves Olivia. Valentine

comes back with news from Olivia. He didn’t get to talk with her but her maid told him

that she will not let her face be shown for seven years because she is mourning the death

of her brother. This doesn’t discourage Orsino. Viola, a captain, and some crew members

wreck on Illyria. Viola thinks that her brother drowned, but she hopes he is still alive. She

decides to disguise herself and to work for the duke Orsino. Sir Toby and Maria are

talking about how much of a drunk he is. He decides he won’t quit. He gives the excuse

that he is only drinking to toast his niece. Then they talk about a guy, Sir Andrew

Aguecheeck, which Sir Toby tried to set up with his niece Olivia. Maria thinks that Sir

Andrew is a total idiot. Sir Andrew comes in and makes a fool of himself and Maria also

makes fun of him. She leaves and Sir Andrew and Toby just kind of chit chat. Toby

convinces Sir Andrew to stay because he says he has a chance with Olivia. They hang out

and get drunk. Orsino convinces Viola who is now disguised as a man named Cesario to

go to Olivia and make her love him. He offers her a reward if she does this. She agrees

but says aside that she would rather be his wife. Maria tells the fool that he better make

up an excuse for being away so long or he will be in hanged. The fool talks his way out if

it with Olivia. Sir Toby is already drunk early in the day. Olivia lets Cesario(Viola) in

because he is young and persistent. Viola is rude probably because she wants Orsino for

herself. She tells her how much Orsino loves her and how beautiful she is but at the same
time she is kind of mean to her. Olivia sends a ring to Viola after she leaves to “give it

back to her.” Actually this is a way for her to get her to come back.

ACT 2

Sebastian tells Antonio, the man who rescued him, who he really is and about his

sister’s drowning. Sebastian then heads to the duke’s court and Antonio goes with him.

Malvolio takes the ring to Viola and she won’t take it so he throws it on the ground and

leaves. She realizes what is happening. Olivia loves her. She loves Orsino. Orsino loves

Olivia. She points out that these loves are hopeless. Sir Toby and Sir Andrew are getting

drunk with each other. The fool sings and then they join in. Maria comes to calm them

down. Malvolio enters shortly after to tell them all to shut up and quit being drunks.

After he leaves they come up with a plot to fool him by writing letters from Olivia

making him think that she loves him. Viola is talking to Orsino and is dropping clues that

she loves him, though he can’t pick up on them. They discuss love and he sends her to

tell Olivia one last time how much he loves her. Maria plants the letter and Sir Andrew,

Sir Toby, and Fabian hide and watch. Malvolio is pacing around daydreaming about his

life if he married Olivia. Sir Toby and Sir Andrew want to fight him for the things he is

saying. He finds the letter and thinks everything points out that Olivia loves him. Then

the letter tells him to do all of these things that Olivia hates.
ACT 3

Viola talks to the fool about how words are tricky outside of Olivia’s place. Viola and

Olivia talk and Olivia confesses her love. Viola leaves and says she won’t come back to

bother her. Sir Andrew was going to leave and once again Sir Toby convinces him that

Olivia actually loves him. Malvolio is doing all the ridiculous things the letter said and

Sir Toby and Fabian go to watch. Sebastian and Antonio are in town and Antonio

confesses that he is wanted and that he will meet Sebastian back at the hotel after he goes

out. Malvolio is acting all crazy talking about the letter to Olivia and she has no idea what

is going on. He looks at everything she said and turns it in his favor. They act as if the

devil has possessed him. They decide they will lock him up like a mad man. Sir Andrew

is done with his letter and lets the others read it. Fabian and Sir Toby catch up with Viola

and tell him a vicious man is ready to fight him and he better fight if he is a gentleman.

Fabian and Sir Toby lie and say that neither man will back down when in fact that’s what

they both want to do. Antonio burst in thinking that Viola is Sebastian and wants to fight

for him. Officers come, recognize Antonio, and start to take him away. Antonio asks for

Viola’s help but she doesn’t know who he is. So he is crushed. Viola then hopes that is

could be her brother that she is mistaken for. After Viola leaves Sir Toby and Fabian

convince Sir Andrew to go and fight him again.
ACT 4

The fool is sent to get Cesario (Viola), but finds Sebastian instead. Sir Andrew finds

Sebastian and punches him, and He hits back. Sir Toby and Sebastian draw swords but

Olivia comes in to stop them. Olivia is all over him and he is confused. Maria, the Fool,

and Sir Toby continue to play pranks on Malvolio. Malvolio is locked up in a dark room

and the fool dresses as a priest and talks to him telling him that he is crazy. Then the fool

talks to him in his normal voice, still hinting that he is insane. At the same time Sebastian

is contemplating his own sanity because of the weird events with Olivia. She enters with

a priest and Sebastian agrees to marry her.

ACT 5

Orsino comes to Olivia’s place and pays the fool for being witty and then has him

fetch Olivia. Viola points out Antonio as the man who jumped in to fight for her, but they

come to the conclusion that he must be a liar because Viola has worked for Orsino the last

3 months. Viola confesses her loyalty to Orsino even though Sebastian, being mistaken

for Viola, already married Olivia and swore his loyalty to her. Olivia calls her her

husband and brings in the priest to prove it. Orsino is crushed. Sir Andrew and Sir Toby

come in complaining about how Viola has hurt them, but it was actually her
brother. Sebastian enters and everyone is amazed. Then Sebastian and Viola see each

other and speak of each other and prove that they are who they think they are. Now

Orsino realizes how Viola really has loved him. Olivia gets the letter from Malvolio and

commands Fabian to release him. Malvolio comes and shows the letter he found to Olivia

and she explains it isn’t her handwriting and when she finds out who did this they will be

in trouble. They confess but use the excuse that Malvolio was awful to them too so it was

fair. Malvolio is irate and storms off. Orsino is going to marry Viola and every lives

happily ever after.
CHARACTERS

Viola- shipwrecked on Illyria, bother is Sebastian, dresses up as a man (Cesario),

falls in love with Orsino

Orsino- Duke, loves Olivia, Passionate, determined

Olivia- loved by Orsino, loves Viola as Cesario, beautiful, also determined

Sebastian- brother of Viola, mistaken for his sister, friend of Antonio

Malvolio- servant of Olivia, center of pranks, loves Olivia

Fool/Feste- Sings, witty under all his foolishness

Sir Toby- uncle of Olivia, drunk, prankster,

Maria- maid of Olivia, marries Sir Toby, clever prankster

Sir Andrew- Idiot, Proud, incompetent, desires to win over Olivia

Antonio- saved Sebastian, looks after him

Fabian- friend of Sir Toby, Trickster
Speeches

I’ll do my best to woo your lady-(aside) Yet, a barful strife- whoe’er I woo,

myself would be his wife Viola agreeing to court Olivia for Orsino even though she

would rather be his wife  shows her love for Orsino

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 Viola lays out the whole complicated mess of love within the play.

Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust

upon ‘em It is used in the movie “she’s the man” which gets its main idea and even

character names from this play, it is used in a scene to pump up the soccer team.

I thank my stars I am happy Malvolio after reading the letter from “Olivia” I

thank my lucky stars is a commonly used phrase.

I am not what I am Viola describing herself to Olivia she actually isn’t even a

man
I’ll ride your horse as well as I ride you Sir Toby with an aside about the way

he is working over Sir Andrew sums up how mischievous Sir Toby really is

After him I love More than I love these eyes, more than my life, more, by all

mores, then e’er I shall love wife. If I do feign, you witnesses above, Punish my life for

tainting of my love!  Viola confessing her love to Orsino she is saying she cares

about him more than herself

One face, one voice, one habit, and two persons!  Orsino’s reaction when he

sees both Viola and Sebastian It gives the reason for all the cases of mistaken identity

in the play, and it creates an intense moment

“By the lord, fool, I am not mad” the fool making fun of Malvolio at the end of

the play he is just a funny guy
Reaction

When I first read this play it was extremely hard to understand. Many things

didn’t make sense, and the language was hard to understand. I bought the movie to watch

and things started coming together. The plot became understandable. The jokes and

ironies became clearer. The movie always gave me a face to go with every character. That

was extremely helpful in understanding the play. I also looked online for a translation. It

was then that the jokes really struck me as hilarious. Shakespeare was a comic genius.

The characters are hilarious. I was surprised when I started reading to find out that a

recent movie, “she’s the man”, was based on this play. It used some of the same names

and the basic idea of the play. Relating to this movie really helped me get a feel for what

the characters were really like. It is funny how they all love someone but it can’t work

out. It is all messed up. I found Sir Toby, Maria, Sir Andrew, and Fabian extremely funny.

They were such pranksters. I think Sir Toby just wanted Sir Andrew around to drink with

and also to be the center of some of his foolery. The way that Antonio cared for Sebastian

struck me as more than a friendship. I tried to find out on the internet if gay relationships

would have been something performed on stage at this time but all I could find was

information about Shakespeare’s personal life. I had a few questions about the play as a

read it. Like why did Viola want to conceal her identity in the first place? Why did

Sebastian desire to go to the Duke’s court? Overall this was a great experience for me and

I really enjoyed this project.

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