Twefth Night: scene summary

A. I

1. i. Languishing Orsino--music, flowers, satiety, volatile mood--effeminate and phallic {Duke, Curio, music} [music and love scene]

2. ii. seacoast; Viola's interest in bachelor Orsino; decides to serve him {Viola, Capt} [exposition only]

3. iii. Olivia's house--[drunk scene] {Toby, Maria, Andrew}

a. Maria teases Toby about drinking--"modest limits of order," and about his foolish friend, whom T. sarcastically praises [turn on music?]

b. Andrew complains about Olivia's refusal ; they get drunker and start to dance; revelling

4. iv. Orsino's: giving Viola command to court and falling in love with him [music in background?] {Duke, Curio, Viola} [gay love scene]

5. v. Olivia's: [killjoy and gay love scene] {Maria, Feste, Olivia, Mal, [Toby] } {Viola, Olivia} (block and stage symmetrical to iv; as in dance)

a. Maria again reprimands in name of Olivia; this time the clown

b. Olivia defends fool against Malvolio; switching sides from order to chaos

c. Toby enters and exits drunk

d. Malvolio enters and exits describing Viola

e. Viola and Olivia skirmish, first in public, then in private; Olivia falls for Viola; Viola moves in and out of character as Orsino's agent [a la Cyrano]

f. Olivia left alone, admits her love and sends ring after C.


1. i. Antonio and Sebastian; frustrated homosexual pursuit on beach {Ant, Seb} [gay love scene]

2. ii. Mal. returns the ring; Viola's soliloquy on disguises and lies {Vio, Mal} [sass scene]

3. iii. Toby and A. raising hell with clown--song; Maria and Malvolio break it up; Maria plots against Mal. {Tob, And, Fest, Maria, Malvol} [party and trick plotting scene]

4. iv. Orsino hears music and songs; Viola disguises her love for Duke in his presence ( is love disguising one's feeling and finally confessing it?) {Duke, Viol, Fest, extras, music} [gay love scene]

5. v. The trap: Mal finds letter, while others observe {Tob, And, Fabian, Malvol, Maria} [gull scene]





1. i. Viol and clown chafe; Viola courts and Olivia tries to seduce, again, and confesses love; Viola eludes {Fest.,Viol, Oliv} [gay love scene]

2. ii. Tricking Andrew to challenge Viol.{Tob., And. Fab. Maria} [plot trick scene]

3. iii. DROP THIS--Ant. and Seb in street; [exposition] {Seb and Ant}

4. iv. a) Mal. gulled {Olivia, Maria, Malvolio} {Maria, Mal. Fabian, Toby}

a. juxtaposition of her love for Cesario with his love for her

b. he makes jokes like clown

c. wilt thou go to bed--she's sober; he's mad

i. [like Titania and Bottom's Midsummer Madness]

d. Mal's interp puts it all together then wrong way

e. Olivia leaves Mal to Toby's care, in search of Viola

f. plotters move in on Malvolio, treating him as bewitched [mockery of witchcraft and exorcism as in Othello]

5. iv. b) Duel trick {Viola, Fabian, Andrew, Toby, Officers}

a. Toby challenges viola for A. ; Viola retreats; Toby promises to mediate; so does Fabian; Toby stirs up Andrew; Toby and Andrew whisper; both A. and V. agree to pro forma duel; interrupted by officers; they're relieved [need to construct pantomime, that leaves Andrew ready to start up a fight again in next scene


1. i. Sebastian accosted--by Andrew, Toby and Olivia {Seb. Feste, Andrew, Toby, Fabian, Olivia}

a. confused by clown [he's very Masculine]

b. accosted by Andrew [at Fabian's and Toby's instigation]

c. Toby battles Sebastian--real hostility

d. Olivia breaks it up and takes up Sebastian--he responds--accepting total absurdity; first accosted by men and then by women

2. ii. Malvolio accosted and tormented--by another disguise: Sir Thopas. {Maria, Feste, Malvolio, Toby}

3. iii. Sebastian in wonder and married by Olivia {Olivia, Sebastian}

E. V

1. i. Denoument {Duke, Olivia, Viola, [Andrew and Toby] Sebastian, Fabian, Maria, [Malvolio]}

a. Duke seeks Olivia; she refuses; he gets violent with Viola, who accepts it and rejects O. She calls him husband and priest supports; Duke gives up Viola and Olivia

b. Andrew and Toby enter; they're beaten--the worm has turned; sobriety preferred to drunkeness--the surgeon's drunk; Toby repudiates drunkenness--Whirligig of Time; Toby turns on him; then exit

c. Sebastian enters, apologizing for hurting them; crowning scene of disorientation; Olivia, Duke and Viola are totally shocked; Viola and Sebastian identify each other; Sebastian takes Olivia; Duke takes Viola; Olivia sends Fabian for Malvolio; Duke and Olivia reconcile as brother-sister in law

d. Malvolio enters, accusing Olivia; the plot is revealed; Feste and Fabian confess and justify their actions; Malvolio leaves disgruntled--as did Toby and Aguecheeck

e. clown sings conclusion--also on time