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Twelfth Night. Essay

1778 words - 7 pages

Twelfth Night:Scene i: The setting is the foreign land of Illyria, and the play opens at the palace of the youthful Duke Orsino as he speaks in lyrical but melancholy verse about his love for a beautiful countess, Olivia. A messenger arrives with bad news for the Duke: Olivia has rejected his marriage proposal, saying that she wishes to enter into a period of seclusion following the death of her brother. This vow only adds to the Duke's admiration of Olivia and her devotion increases his ardor.Scene ii: On the seacoast of Illyria, we see the play's chief protagonist, Viola with a sea captain and learn that the ship that they were sailing on has been wrecked. Sebastian, Viola's twin brother, was aboard the same vessel. Although his fate is still unknown, the captain tells Viola that Sebastian may also have been rescued. The story of Duke Orsino's unrequited love for Olivia is related to Viola by the captain. She then decides to join the Duke's court disguised as a young man.Scene iii: At the palatial home of the countess Olivia, we are introduced to her uncle, Sir Toby Belch, and to one of her servants, Maria. Sir Toby complains about his niece's reclusiveness. Uncle Toby's concern here is not Olivia's withdrawal, but its effect on his plan to marry his lovely niece to one of his rich and foppish friends, Sir Andrew Aguecheck. Maria says that Toby and Sir Andrew should tone down their hard-drinking merriment, of which Olivia disapproves. Having made no headway in his suit for Olivia's affection, Sir Andrew enters and says that he will leave the house because the Duke is actively courting her, but Sir Toby assures him that Olivia has rejected the Duke's romantic overtures.Scene iv: The act takes place at Duke Orsino's palace. Here we find that Viola has disguised herself as the young man "Cesario" and has been embraced by the Duke as part of his court. The Duke sends Cesario (again, actually Viola in disguise) to persuade Olivia to marry him. Viola, for her part, is in a bind: she has fallen in love with Duke Orsino but must now act as a go-between seeking marital union between the Duke and Olivia.Scene v: At Olivia's manor, we encounter the character of Feste, Olivia's jester, as he is scolded by Maria for his lapses, idleness, and absences. The Countess Olivia enters with the steward of her household, the middle-aged Malvolio. The ill-tempered Malvolio berates Feste harshly until Olivia accuses him of being too sour and too dour. Sir Toby appears and says that a messenger (Viola in disguised as Cesario) has arrived from the Duke. Olivia agrees to speak with Cesario, and the disguised Viola tries to woo the young noblewoman on behalf of the Duke. Olivia nonetheless refuses the Duke's marriage proposal, but as Cesario is departing, she asks him to return on the next day. After "he" departs, Olivia indicates that she has fallen madly in love with Cesario.Scene i: On the sea coast of Illyria, we see Sebastian, Viola's brother, and Antonio, the sea...

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