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Asha Dinald Pre-University

The central plot of Twelfth Night involves a lady named Viola who survives a shipwreck which it appears claimed the life of her twin brother Sebastian. Stranded in the unfriendly nation of Illyria, Viola disguises herself as a boy named Cesario to go into the service of the Duke Orsino. Viola is then given the task of wooing the beautiful Olivia on Orsino's behalf, but not only is Olivia adamant in her unrequited love to Orsino's suit, she falls in love with the messenger she believes to be a boy. Viola, meanwhile, has fallen for Orsino, creating a rather unique romantic triangle. To complicate matters further, Sebastian turns up alive, resulting in confusion. The play opens in the Duke's palace. As his musicians play the Duke speaks of love and says if music is the food that sustains love he wants to hear an adequate amount of it to make him sick of it, so he will no longer want to hear any and no longer be in love. It seems by his speech that he is not successful in his wooing of the beautiful yet secluded Olivia. It is apparent that he had sent Curio one of his many servants to deliver his message of love to Olivia. In turn she states that she has sworn of men for a total of seven years. She does this to give herself time to grieve the recent demise of her brother. Even though Lady Olivia has lost her brother and has basically put herself in seclusion he stills seems to compare this to the love that they will have when she comes out of mourning. Duke Orsino shows that at this moment he is both in love with the idea of love and that he may not really understand what love is. In my opinion love is supposed to be unconditional, it is also devoted and unending, constant. So we can clearly see he has not fully grasped what love is to him. An example of this is seen in what he says next. He is dissatisfied that when he hears this. He states it is a waste for her to place all her love in a dead man. In scene 2 the protagonist Viola is introduced when she is seen in the shipwreck of the coast of Illyria where both Duke Orsino and Lady Olivia both reside. Viola is distraught over the supposed loss of her brother Sebastian whom she believed to be dead. From this we can gather that Viola should have a lot in common with the Lady Olivia. The Captain the gives her hope saying that he had seen Sebastian clinging to some driftwood offering her this small comfort. She then questions The Captain about who governs the land of Illyria. She is also told of Lady Olivias losses and she feels a sense of camaraderie with her. This in turn makes Viola want to work for her. She then decides to disguise herself as a man and seeks out work with The Dukes household. In scene 3 The relationship between Lady Olivia an her uncle Sir Toby is seen, He is basically perplexed at her decision not to receive men for the allotted seven years. Also the

Asha Dinald Pre-University

character Maria is introduced. She is seen rebuking his gluttonous drinking and his late arrivals home at night. She plainly states that Lady Olivia is becoming exasperated with his behavior. He states that he will do as he pleases or sees fit to do. From this act we see that there is love lost between Sir Toby and Maria. She makes it known to him and is drinking companion that she finds their behavior reprehensible and truly distasteful. Also Sir Andrew has been trying to court Olivia but he cannot compete with the kinds of Duke Orsino but Sir Andrew convinces him to stay rather easily.

Scene 4 shows the developing relationship between Orsino and Cesario. We find that, after only three days, Cesario has become a great favorite of the duke. As Orsinos servant Valentine tells Cesario, that if he continues with this behavior towards Duke Orsino he is likely to be promoted. In the same conversation, Valentine assures Cesario that Orsino isnt fickle but that he remains steady and constant in his love. Since we have heard Orsinos flowery speeches about Olivia in scene one, we question how sincere or steady his love really is, an uncertainty that grows as the play progresses. It is seen in the way that Orsino talks to Cesario making it clear that Orsino likes Cesario very much and his language is closer to that of romantic love than that of friendship. Clearly, Orsino already seems to be attracted to Cesario in a way that defies our expectations of how male friends interact with one another. In scene five the clown Feste is introduced for the first time. It is seen also that both Viola and Feste have something in common. They both hide something about themselves whether it is big or small. Feste hides his true intelligence while Viola hides the fact that she actually female. Festes intelligence is shown when he states Olivia is the fool because she mourns her brother who is and is resting in heaven. Malvolio dislikes Feste as he calls him a natural fool and this is a great insult as Feste is quite smart. In this scene Lady Olivia is intrigued messenger that Duke Orsino has sent to woo her. As Cesario/ Viola recite the speech she is intrigues as to what the Dukes love interest looks like and partially because of Cesarios honesty and his youthfulness she is impressed with him. She uses a ploy to make it certain that she sees him again. The ploy was giving him a ring via Malvolio so he has to bring it back. Alone, Olivia questions her sudden and unexplainable attraction to Cesario. The first act shows main features of the characters and it even gives you a hint that there will confusion and disorder.

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