Twelfth Night: Similar Names

Unusual names in Twelfth Night:

Olivia. Viola. Malvolio.


Yet they do have some things in common.

O. L. I. A.

too bad it’s not M O A I … heh heh

The three don’t rhyme, but they do have similar sounds.


I’ve got no answer.

However, I do find even more interesting the non-rhyming similarities between Malvolio and Antonio… a first syllable containing a short A vowel and a closing non-plosive or -fricative consonant; a second syllable with an opening plosive or fricative consonant and a long O vowel; a third syllable with the same closing non-plosive or -fricative consonant from the first syllable leading into a long E vowel in the form of a letter I; and a closing syllable of a single long O vowel sound (though these last two syllables could be easily elided into a single one)… a non-consonant rhyming of the vowel sounds… for the two non-clown characters in the play who have (seeming) romantic objects of desire only to be left without mates at the end of the play (Andrew the clown doesn’t count… or should he?). Why are these two names linked phonetically?

Again, I’ve got nothing.

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