Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” in Brief Content

Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” in Brief Content

The action of the comedy takes place in a fantastic country for the English of Shakespeare’s time – Illyria.

The Duke of Illyria Orsino is in love with the young Countess Olivia, but she is in mourning after the death of her brother and even does not accept the emissaries of the duke. The indifference of Olivia only fires the duke’s passion. Orsino takes on the service of a young man named Cesario, whose beauty, devotion and subtlety of feeling he manages to assess in just a few days. He’s sending him to Olivia to tell him about his love. In reality, Caesario is a girl named Viola. She sailed on the ship with her beloved twin brother Sebastian and accidentally ended up in Illyria after the shipwreck. Viola hopes that her brother also escaped. The girl changes

into men’s clothes and goes to the service of the duke, who immediately falls in love. Behind the duke, she says: “It’s not easy for me to get a wife for you / After all, I myself would like to be it!”

Olivia’s prolonged mourning is not at all like her uncle – Sir Toby Belch, the merry fellow and the reveler. The lady’s maid, Olivia Maria, tells Sir Toby that her mistress is very unhappy with her husband’s drinking and drinking, as well as his drinking companion, Sir Andrew Aegyuchik, the rich and stupid knight to whom Sir Toby fools his head, promising to give his niece for him, while shamelessly using his purse. Sir Andrew, offended by Olivia’s disregard, wants to leave, but Sir Toby, a flatterer and a joker, persuades him to stay for another month.

When Viola appears at the Countess’s house, she is hardly allowed to go to Olivia. Despite eloquence and wit, she can not succeed in her mission – Olivia pays tribute to the duke’s virtues, but does not like him. But the young messenger reaches a completely unexpected result for himself – the Countess is fascinated by him and comes up with a trick to make him accept a ring from her.

Brother Viola Sebastian appears in Illyria, accompanied by Captain Antonio, who saved his life. Sebastian mourns

for his sister, who, in his opinion, died. He wants to seek happiness at the court of the Duke. It’s painful for the captain to part with a noble youth, to whom he had become genuinely attached, but there is nothing to be done – it’s dangerous to appear in Illyria. Yet he secretly follows Sebastian to protect him in case of need.

In the house of Olivia, Sir Toby and Sir Andrew in the company of the jester Festa drink wine and bawl songs. Mary tries to reason with them in a friendly manner. Following it appears the butler of Olivia – swaggering bore Malvolio. He tries unsuccessfully to stop the feast. When the butler leaves, Maria thoroughly ridicules this “inflated donkey”, which “bursts with complacency,” and swears to fool him. She is going to write him a love letter on behalf of Olivia and put it on a general ridicule.

In the palace of the duke, the fool Feste first sings to him a sad song about unrequited love, and then tries to cheer with jokes. Orsino revels in his love for Olivia, his previous failures do not discourage him. He convinces Viola again to go to the countess. The duke ridicules the assertion of the imaginary youth that a woman can be as enamored of him as he is in Olivia: “The woman’s breast will not bear beating / Such a mighty passion as mine.” He remains deaf to all hints of the enamored Viola.

Sir Toby and his accomplices are simply bursting out with laughter, then with anger, when they overhear how Malvolio discusses the possibility of marriage with his mistress, about how he will curtail Sir Toby, becoming the master in the house. However, the fun begins when the butler finds a letter written by Maria, forging Olivia’s handwriting. Malvolio quickly convinces himself that he is the “unnamed lover” to whom it is addressed. He decides to strictly follow the instructions given in the letter and invented by Mary specifically in the hope that the enemy of a cheerful company behaved and looked the most stupid way. Sir Toby is delighted with the fiction of Mary, and even from her: “Behind such a witty devil even in the very Tartarus.”

In the garden of Olivia, Viola and Festa exchange witticisms. “He plays a good fool.” Such a role the fool will not prevail, “Viola says of the jester. Then Viola speaks with Olivia leaving the garden, which no longer hides her passionate passion for “young men”. Sir Andrew is offended by the fact that in his presence the countess compliments with the duke’s servant, and Sir Toby convinces him to summon a cheeky youth to a duel. True, Sir Toby is sure that both will not have the courage to fight.

Antonio on the city street meets Sebastian and explains to him that he can not openly accompany him, as he participated in a naval battle with the dukes’ galleys and won the upper hand – “they recognize me / And, believe me, they will not let me descend.” Sebastian wants to wander around the city. He makes arrangements with the captain about the meeting in an hour at the best hotel. At parting, Antonio persuades a friend to take his wallet in case of unexpected expenses.

Malvolio, foolishly smiling and tastelessly dressed, playfully quotes Olivia’s passages from her allegedly her message. Olivia is convinced that the butler has gone mad. She instructs Sir Toby to take care of him, which he does, only in his own way: he at first scoffs at the unfortunate spy, and then shoves him into the closet. Then he takes over Sir Andrew and “Caesario”. To each he quietly says that his opponent is fierce and skillful in fencing, but it is impossible to avoid a duel. Finally, pale with fear, “duelists” draw their swords – and Antonio, who passes by, interferes. He closes himself Viola, taking her for Sebastian, and begins to fight with Sir Toby, furious that his trick failed. Appear bailiffs. They arrest Antonio by order of the Duke. He is forced to obey, but asks Viola to return the purse – he will need money now. He is outraged that the person for whom he has done so much does not recognize him and does not want to talk about any money, although he thanks for intercession. The captain is being led away. Viola, who realized that she was confused with Sebastian, rejoices at the salvation of his brother.

On the street, Sir Andrew pounces on his opponent, whose timidity he was recently convinced of, and gives him a slap in the face, but… this is not the meek Viola, but the brave Sebastian. The cowardly knight is firmly beaten. Sir Toby tries to intercede for him – Sebastian reveals his sword. Appeared Olivia stops the fight and drives her uncle. “Caesario, please do not be angry,” she says to Sebastian. She leads him into the house and offers to be engaged. Sebastian is confused, but agrees, the beautiful woman immediately charmed him. He would like to consult Antonio, but he disappeared somewhere, he is not in the hotel. Meanwhile, the jester, pretending to be a priest, plays for a long time Malviolio, sitting in a dark closet. Finally, having taken pity, agrees to bring him a candle and writing materials.

In front of the house of Olivia, the duke and Viola await conversation with the countess. At this time, the bailiffs lead Antonio, whom Viola calls the “savior,” and Orsino – “famous pirate.” Antonio bitterly reproaches Viola for ingratitude, cunning and hypocrisy. Olivia appears from the house. She rejects the duke, and “Caesario” reproaches for infidelity. The priest confirms that two hours ago he married a countess with a duke’s favorite. Orsino is shocked. In vain Viola says that he became her “life, light”, that he told her “a mile of all women in this world”, poor thing no one believes. Then the battered Sir Toby and Sir Andrew come out of the garden with complaints about the ducal court Caesario, behind them with apologies – Sebastian. Sebastian sees Antonio and rushes to him. Both the captain and the duke are shocked by the similarity of the twins. They are in complete perplexity. Brother and sister recognize each other. Orsino, realizing that the one who was so dear to him in the image of a young man, in fact a girl in love with him, completely reconciles with the loss of Olivia, who is now ready to be considered a sister. He is impatient to see Viola in a woman’s dress: “… the virgin will appear before me,” / “My soul is love and the queen.” The fool brings a letter to Malvolo. The butler’s oddities are explained, but Maria is not punished for a cruel joke – she is now a lady, Sir Toby in her gratitude for her tricks married her. Insulted Malvolio leaves the house – the only gloomy character leaves the stage. The Duke orders “to catch up with him and to decline the world.” The play ends with a playful melancholy song, which Feste sings. in fact, a girl in love with him, completely reconciles with the loss of Olivia, which is now ready to be considered a sister. He is impatient to see Viola in a woman’s dress: “… the virgin will appear before me,” / “My soul is love and the queen.” The fool brings a letter to Malvolo. The butler’s oddities are explained, but Maria is not punished for a cruel joke – she is now a lady, Sir Toby in her gratitude for her tricks married her. Insulted Malvolio leaves the house – the only gloomy character leaves the stage. The Duke orders “to catch up with him and to decline the world.” The play ends with a playful melancholy song, which Feste sings. in fact, a girl in love with him, completely reconciles with the loss of Olivia, which is now ready to be considered a sister. He is impatient to see Viola in a woman’s dress: “… the virgin will appear before me,” / “My soul is love and the queen.” The fool brings a letter to Malvolo. The butler’s oddities are explained, but Maria is not punished for a cruel joke – she is now a lady, Sir Toby in her gratitude for her tricks married her. Insulted Malvolio leaves the house – the only gloomy character leaves the stage. The Duke orders “to catch up with him and to decline the world.” The play ends with a playful melancholy song, which Feste sings.


Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” in Brief Content