Characters Viola – twin sister to Sebastian. When disguised as a man, she is known as Cesario. In love with Orsino.

Orsino – Duke of Illyria; in love with Olivia Olivia – a countess. In love with Cesario. Sebastian – twin brother to Viola Maria – a Lady in waiting in Olivia's household. She has feelings for Sir Toby Belch. Valentine, Curio – gentlemen attending on the duke Sir Toby Belch – Olivia's drunken uncle. He has feelings for Maria. Sir Andrew Aguecheek – a simple minded companion of Sir Toby's. Wooing Olivia Malvolio – a steward to Olivia Feste – (also known as 'The Fool' in some adaptations) Olivia's jester, ironically very clever and some wonder if he knew Viola was a girl the whole time Fabian – a servant and friend to Sir Toby Antonio – a captain and friend to Sebastian. Plot Overview I N THE KINGDOM OF ILLYRIA, a nobleman named Orsino lies around listening to music, pining away for the love of Lady Olivia. He cannot have her because she is in mourning for her dead brother and refuses to entertain any proposals of marriage. Meanwhile, off the coast, a storm has caused a terrible shipwreck. A young, aristocratic-born woman named Viola is swept onto the Illyrian shore. Finding herself alone in a strange land, she assumes that her twin brother, Sebastian, has been drowned in the wreck, and tries to figure out what sort of work she can do. A friendly sea captain tells her about Orsino’s courtship of Olivia, and Viola says that she wishes she could go to work in Olivia’s home. But since Lady Olivia refuses to talk with any strangers, Viola decides that she cannot look for work with her. Instead, she decides to disguise herself as a man, taking on the name of Cesario, and goes to work in the household of Duke Orsino. Viola (disguised as Cesario) quickly becomes a favorite of Orsino, who makes Cesario his page. Viola finds herself falling in love with Orsino—a difficult love to pursue, as Orsino believes her to be a man. But when Orsino sends Cesario to deliver Orsino’s love messages to the disdainful Olivia, Olivia herself falls for the beautiful young Cesario, believing her to be a man. The love triangle is complete: Viola loves Orsino, Orsino loves Olivia, and Olivia loves Cesario—and everyone is miserable. Meanwhile, we meet the other members of Olivia’s household: her rowdy drunkard of an uncle, Sir Toby; his foolish friend, Sir Andrew Aguecheek, who is trying in his hopeless way to court Olivia; Olivia’s witty and pretty waiting-gentlewoman, Maria; Feste, the clever clown of the house; and Malvolio, the dour, prudish steward of Olivia’s household. When Sir Toby and the others take offense at Malvolio’s constant efforts to spoil their fun, Maria engineers a practical joke to make Malvolio think that Olivia is in love with him. She forges a letter, supposedly from Olivia, addressed to her beloved (whose name is signified by the

he should dress in yellow stockings and crossed garters." a priest. in which he asks to be released. Orsino is furious. she asks him to marry her. Toby. in spite of the fact that he and Orsino are old enemies. He sees. arrives in Illyria along with his friend and protector. leaving the happy couples to their celebration. Finally. Malvolio’s supposed madness has allowed the gleeful Maria. however.I. and Antonio is dragged off. challenges Cesario to a duel. However. smile constantly. declaring him definitely insane in spite of his protests. who sees the prospective duel as entertaining fun. observing Olivia’s attraction to Cesario (still Viola in disguise). the Duke of Illyria. and asks her to marry him. Sir Toby. that she is wealthy and beautiful. where Olivia welcomes Cesario as her new husband. The siblings are joyfully reunited. Viola has newfound hope that her brother may be alive. Viola (still disguised as Cesario) and Orsino make their way to Olivia’s house. act haughtily. someone remembers Malvolio and lets him out of the dark room. He behaves so strangely that Olivia comes to think that he is mad. since he has never seen her before. Viola denies knowing Antonio. Olivia enters amid the confusion. that she will not see him or any other man for seven years while she mourns . thinking that he is Cesario. and he is therefore more than willing to go along with her. and they torment him at will. and they allow Malvolio to send a letter to Olivia. The trick is revealed in full. and all is revealed. Malvolio finds the letter. Feste dresses up as "Sir Topas. mistaking him for Sebastian. He is baffled. whom she has just married. Sir Toby begins to think better of the joke. Orsino states he is sick in love with Olivia. and the embittered Malvolio storms off. happily follows its commands. Antonio has been arrested by Orsino’s officers and now begs Cesario for help. eggs Sir Andrew on. Eventually. and. However.O. Sir Andrew and Sir Toby end up coming to blows with Sebastian. or What You Will (a Later Festive Comedy) In Illyria. Sir Andrew. who is still alive after all but believes his sister Viola to be dead. now that he knows she is a woman. assumes that it is addressed to him. Encountering Sebastian and thinking that he is Cesario. crying out that Sebastian has betrayed him. and the rest to lock Malvolio into a small. Antonio. and refuse to explain himself to anyone. dark room for his treatment.A. when Sebastian—who looks just like the disguised Viola—appears on the scene. filled with dreams of marrying Olivia and becoming noble himself. but then Sebastian himself appears on the scene. Meanwhile.). Valentine reports to him. and pretends to examine Malvolio.letters M. however. and Orsino realizes that he loves Viola. Twelfth Night. We discover that Sir Toby and Maria have also been married privately. Antonio has cared for Sebastian since the shipwreck and is passionately (and perhaps sexually) attached to the young man—so much so that he follows him to Orsino’s domain. Sebastian. thinking him to be Sebastian. Meanwhile. telling him that if he wants to earn her favor. Suddenly.

she realizes Olivia's new love for her and wonders how things will work out now that Orsino loves Olivia. Viola fears her twin brother Sebastian is drowned. the idea placed in his mind by Maria's deceptive letters. After he leaves. Malvolio approaches Olivia and makes advances to her. Viola. Andrew tells Toby he is running out of money while he tries to win Olivia. and the Clown how she plans to trick Malvolio into thinking Olivia is in love with him by penning love letters to him in Olivia's hand. Antonio. Finally. Viola (as Cesario) promises to do so. comes home late. Sebastian heads to Orsino's court. but the captain thinks he saved himself by holding onto the floating mast. Toby comes to Viola (who had been speaking with Olivia) and tells her (as Cesario) that Andrew. Sebastian tells Antonio (the captain that rescued Sebastian. the clown sings songs of love. Andrew appears with his outrageously stupidly worded challenge to Viola and Toby promises to deliver it. has a quarrel with her and will duel her. Back at the Duke's palace. and. and it seems. Sebastian and Antonio arrive in Illyria and Sebastian decides to tour the town. drunk as usual. Maria tells Toby. while the clown entertains them. both fearing the other. and Maria hide and listen to Malvolio pompously dream of his "impending" marriage to Olivia. while Viola and Orsino discuss the qualities of love. though. This greatly fears Viola. but Fabian promises to try to calm Andrew. Olivia actually starts to fall in love with her (as Cesario). At Olivia's house. a most fierce and dreaded knight. not knowing what he means. Olivia even has Malvolio send her ring after her (as Cesario). Olivia's servant Fabian. and Fabian appear. even though Viola insists Olivia will not be moved. Soon. Maria. When Olivia makes a pass at Viola. At the Duke's palace. Orsino bids Viola approach Olivia again with his greeting. but Toby and Fabian again convince him to stay. Separately. Learning Viola is come from Orsino. Viola and her ship's captain come ashore after their ship sinks. he asks Viola (pretending to be a male servant named Cesario) to approach Olivia and woo her on his behalf. he'll blame Toby. she quickly shuns Olivia off. Separately. then meet Antonio at the Elephant Inn. Toby and Andrew drink into the night. At Olivia's house. and Viola loves Orsino. she convinces the captain to help disguise her as a male so that she may become a servant to Orsino. On the seacoast. angering . In Olivia's garden. causing them to laugh uproariously behind his back. Viola speaks to Olivia about Orsino and actually tries to tell her how to distance herself from him. but Olivia declares to Viola that she loves her (as Cesario). Toby admits to Fabian he only keeps Andrew around to use his money for alcohol. but Toby convinces him to stay with them another month and promises to try harder to get Olivia to like him (Andrew). he follows Sebastian out of pity for his plight. At the seacoast. Viola comes back to Olivia's house to talk to her for Orsino. Malvolio. Andrew. denies she knows him (though offers him money on loan). Officers of the Duke then appear and arrest Antonio by order of Orsino. shows up and tries to spoil the fun. since she desires Orsino. Toby tells Andrew that Viola is fierce and unstoppable. Andrew tells Toby he'll head for home the next day. Andrew again announces he's leaving. Upon learning that she is in Illyria. Malvolio treats them like they are base and he is royal. but not Viola) of his fears that Viola is drowned. Olivia loves Viola (as Cesario). perhaps try to win his love. while Olivia's lady-in-waiting Maria lets him in. Toby's drinking buddy Sir Andrew Aguecheek shows up. convincing him he should duel Viola (as Cesario) to impress Olivia to love him. but she thinks him mad. Andrew. she agrees to see Viola. thinking Viola to be Sebastian. When Toby. Separately. and if he fails. Maria appears and Toby starts flirting with her. Olivia tells her steward Malvolio to send him away. though.the death of her father and brother (both died within the last six months). Olivia and her servant Feste (aka Clown) trade witticisms when Maria and Toby (drunk as usual) tell her Viola (as Cesario) is at the door. At Olivia's house. governed by Orsino. After Viola leaves. At Olivia's house. asks for the money back that he lent Sebastian earlier. though Antonio knows he has enemies there. Sir Toby Belch. since Olivia won't let him woo her. when Antonio appears and breaks it up. her uncle. but privately reveals she will not try hard. Toby gets the two to duel. When Viola receives the ring from Malvolio. While Viola speaks. thinking Viola to be Sebastian. Toby.

The clown pretends to be a priest and visits him. the clown follows Sebastian around (thinking him Viola) insisting his name is Cesario and that Olivia desires to see him.him and calling her disloyal. Andrew then appears and swears Cesario struck Toby alongside the head. but leaves to be bandaged. the Duke arrives and entreats the clown to let him see Olivia. Sebastian appears and greets all. Sebastian promises to keep his marriage to Olivia. Malvolio is kept prisoner in a cell in the basement by Toby and Maria. while both twins (he and Viola) are amazed and delighted that the other is living. but Viola denies it. and the Duke vows to marry Viola. Sebastian immediately falls in love with her and they depart into her house together. until Olivia breaks it up. Olivia arrives and immediately starts doting on Viola (as Cesario). and in return for Maria's help. Outside Olivia's house. This annoys Sebastian and he bids the clown to leave. eventually calling her husband. trying to keep Sebastian from Andrew himself duels Sebastian. but Sebastian strikes back at Andrew. Malvolio vows to be revenged on them all. At Olivia's house. mad at Viola (thinking her Sebastian). makes fun of him and calls him mad. In Olivia's garden. While waiting. Fabian and the Clown admit they. Orsino tells Antonio he is a pirate and not to be trusted since he helped steal one of Illyria's greatest battleships in the past. and Maria did it all in jest. and all depart happily. Finally. . Toby. Antonio shows up with the officers and explains how he rescued Sebastian from the sea then helped him (actually Viola) in the duel. Toby and Fabian egg Andrew on further to once again duel Viola (as Cesario). rather. However. In another part of the house. then she and he go with a priest to the church to be married. Toby married her. The officers lead him away while Viola realizes the confusion and finds new hope that Sebastian is alive. Malvolio is brought forth from the cell and all learn of the trick played on him. Andrew then appears and strikes Sebastian (thinking him Viola/Cesario). Toby. Sebastian ponders the amazement of the finding of his new love Olivia. Toby appears. scaring him. The Duke calls his servants to calm Malvolio. wounding him. The Priest arrives and confirms the marriage between Olivia and Cesario (actually Sebastian). After Viola leaves. shocking Viola and enraging the Duke. and. but will not help him.

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