As we continue our Twelfth Night plot summary, the fourth scene of Act Two takes us back to court of Orsino, where the duke (as he did at the beginning of the play) calls for more music. And as they wait for Feste to arrive to sing, Orsino tells Cesario/Viola,
If ever thou shalt love,
In the sweet pangs of it remember me,
For such as I am, all true lovers are,
Unstaid and skittish in all motions else
Save in the constant image of the creature
That is beloved.
Continue reading “Twelfth Night Plot Summary: Act Two, Scenes Four and Five–A Pure Philosophical Discussion of the Genders, and the Gulling of a Puritan”
As we continue our Twelfth Night plot summary, entering Act Two, we’re now taken to an Illyrian lodging where we find Antonio and Sebastian, with the former pleading with the latter not to leave. Just as Olivia just a scene earlier said that “Fate (had) show(n) (its) force” (I.v.299), Sebastian fears that staying with Antonio would adversely affect him because of the “malignancy of (Sebastian’s) fate” (II.i.4).
And what’s so bad about what’s happened to Sebastian? He tries to explain:
Antonio, my name is Sebastian, which I called Roderigo. My father was that Sebastian of Messaline whom I know you have heard of. He left behind him myself and a sister, both born in an hour. If the heavens had been pleased, would we had so ended! But you, sir, altered that, for some hour before you took me from the breach of the sea was my sister drowned.
Sebastian had a twin sister, and while Antonio’s ship saved Sebastian from the ocean, Sebastian’s sister drowned. Interesting. Wait. You don’t think– This couldn’t be– Maybe– Nah, too coincidental.
Continue reading “Twelfth Night Plot Summary: Act Two, Scenes One through Three–Brother Lost No More, a Realization, and a Crackdown on Uncivil Rule Leads to a Scheme”
As we continue our Twelfth Night plot summary, the fifth and final scene of Act One takes us back to Olivia’s estate, where the scene begins much like the earlier scene at the estate, with Maria reprimanding one of the men of the house. In this case, it’s Feste the clown who has been “absent” (I.v.3) from the home and his entertaining duties, and Olivia is not happy about it.
So much so that when Feste greets the countess, she responds, “Take the fool away” (I.v.35). Feste then uses his foolish skills (and I mean that in a good way) to show Olivia the error of her (foolish) ways: Olivia’s brother is in Heaven, so if she mourns for him, then she‘s the fool. By the end of his dissertation, her respect for his skills overrides her earlier anger, as she asks her steward, “What think you of this fool, Malvolio? Doth he not mend?” (I.v.69-70).
Continue reading “Twelfth Night Plot Summary: Act One, Scene Five–Clowns, Drunkards, Cruel Self-Lovers, and Quickly Catching Plagues”
If you know the rough outline of the play’s plot, you might assume that the Twelfth Night plot summary would begin with the shipwreck that strands Viola in Illyria. And you’d be wrong to make that assumption. Instead, we get a ridiculously lovesick duke and one of the most famous opening lines in Shakespeare:
If music be the food of love, play on
Continue reading “Twelfth Night Plot Summary: Act One, Scenes One through Four–Lost Brothers, Lovers Never Had, and a Bromance is Kindled”
If you dig deep enough into the possible source materials that Shakespeare used for Twelfth Night, you can find a whole slew of suspects.
You want to talk twins and the confusion that can arise from mistaken identity (like The Comedy of Errors)? Check out the old Greek play, Plautus’ Menaechmi, which actually was a source of that earlier play).
If, however, you want to talk about the concept of the female disguising herself as a young male, to work for a(nother) male, who tasks her/him to plead his suit to a(nother) female, who in turn falls in love with the first female, but as the young male, who–of course–has fallen for the male who has hired her (as a him)… well, then you’ve got quite the tangle coming up.
Continue reading “Twelfth Night: Sources”
So, with a new play–Twelfth Night–comes some new stuff for you…
The YouTube Channel now has a Twelfth Night playlist, including
Continue reading “A New Year, A New Month, A New Play: Twelfth Night”
A couple of weeks back, my wife Lisa and I attended one of the Independent Shakespeare Company’s performances of The Taming of the Shrew, and if you haven’t read my review, suffice to say, we both had a great time, and I thought that the performance of Kate by Melissa Chalsma was excellent, with one of the best deliveries of that final speech I’ve ever seen. We loved it so much that we jumped at the chance to catch their Twelfth Night, free again in Griffith Park, and presented under a glorious late summer evening sky.
Continue reading “Theatrical Review: Twelfth Night by Independent Shakespeare Company”