Twelfth Night – Act Post


Act I

  • Introduction to the lovesick Duke Orsino and the mourning Lady Olivia. Also to Viola who survived a shipwreck then stranded in Illyria and disguised herself as a young servant boy named Cesario.
  • A funny scene III when the idiotic Sir Andrew tried to woo Maria (Olivia’s servant):
MARIAA dry jest, sir.
SIR ANDREWAre you full of them?
MARIAJust a bit of my dry humor, sir. 

In today’s English:

SIR ANDREWAre you always so funny?
MARIAYes, I’ve got a handful of jokes. But oops, when I let go of your hand, I let go of the biggest joke of all.
  • Viola (as Cesario) acted as matchmaker for Orsino and Olivia, while she is falling in love with Orsino.
  • Olivia, on the other hand, somehow touched by Cesario’s speech of Orsino’s love and fell in love instantly with the young man.
  • The wisdom of the Fool


Good madonna, why mournest thou?


Good fool, for my brother’s death.


I think his soul is in hell, madonna.


I know his soul is in heaven, fool.


The more fool, madonna, to mourn for your brother’s soul being in heaven. Take away the fool, gentlemen.




What’s a drunken man like, fool?


Like a drowned man, a fool and a madman. One draught above heat makes him a fool, the second mads him, and a third drowns him.

Act II

  • Sebastian said goodbye to Antonio. Antonio was left with a broken heart—it seems that Antonio truly loved Sebastian—as in romantic love.
  • Viola realized that Olivia had fallen for her (as Cesario). Viola then contemplated on this tangled web:


I am the man. If it be so, as ’tis,

Poor lady, she were better love a dream.

Disguise, I see thou art a wickedness,

Wherein the pregnant enemy does much.

How easy is it for the proper false

In women’s waxen hearts to set their forms!

Alas, our frailty is the cause, not we,

For such as we are made of, such we be.

How will this fadge? 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!

  • Sir Toby Belch and Sir Andrew were having a little bit too much fun, The Fool was with them too. They got confronted by Malvolio who told them to shut up for the sake of her mistress, Lady Olivia. Maria was there too, and she turned out to dislike Malvolio whom she described as a goody two shoes. She then arranged a plan to humiliate Malvolio. Malvolio was tricked to believe that his mistress Olivia was secretly in love with him.
  • Viola gave a hint about her true identity to Orsino:

In faith, they are as true of heart as we.

My father had a daughter loved a man

As it might be, perhaps, were I a woman,

I should your lordship.


  • Olivia confessed to Cesario (who was actually Viola) that she loved him. Viola denied her. Sir Andrew saw Olivia with Cesario and felt jealous.
  • Sebastian arrived in Illyria, followed by Antonio. Sebastian wanted to stroll around the area while Sebastian felt best to hide, because he caused great loss to Orsino in a battle.
  • Lady Olivia was puzzled by the weird act of Malvolio. Sir Andrew challenged Cesario in a duel. The duel then interrupted by Antonio, who mistook Cesario for Sebastian. And then it got interrupted again by officers who put Antonio under arrest.

Act IV

  • Sebastian came to Lady Olivia’s house to be mistaken as Cesario by Sir Andrew and Sir Toby Belch. Lady Olivia interrupted the fight between the gentlemen and Sebastian was confused.
  • The fool was told by Maria to disguise himself as Mr Topas the priest and talk to Malvolio as if he was possessed by Satan and needed to be released from it.

Act V

The final confrontation. I’d better not spoil this.


Read my review of Twelth Night here.

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