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Act 3, Scene 1 Notes from Twelfth Night

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Twelfth Night Act 3, Scene 1

Viola, disguised as Cesario, questions the clown, and he answers her comically. When he asks if he is a "churchman," he tells him, "I do live by the church, for I do live at my house, and my house doth stand by the church." Act 3, Scene 1, line 5 The clown puns expertly, then says that words are so easy to manipulate, so easy to use for bad purposes, that he is afraid to use them. When asked if he is Olivia's fool, he says that Olivia will have no fool until she has a husband. Cesario gives him money, and the clown tells him he hopes he grows a beard. (Cesario, of course, looks like a very womanish man, since he is actually a woman.) Cesario sends the clown to ask if Olivia will see him, and then thinks to himself about the clown. "This fellow is wise enough to play the fool, and to do that well, craves a kind of wit..." Act 3, Scene 1, line 61

Topic Tracking: Disguise 8

Toby and Andrew appear, and speak with foolish politeness to Cesario. They go in to see Olivia together. Cesario speaks poetically to Olivia, and Andrew notes each fancy word he speaks, memorizing them so he can use them later. Then Olivia and Cesario are left alone. Olivia worries that she was too forward with him, and that he is now judging her because of it. Cesario simply tells her that he pities her. She grasps at this, saying that pity is like love, but he protests, telling her that people sometimes pity even their enemies. Olivia tries to accept this as cheerfully as she can, and tells him to go and find happiness elsewhere. She then asks him what he thinks of her, and he tells her, "You do think you are not what you are." Act 3, Scene 1, line 141 Olivia counters that she believes this to be true of him too, and he agrees. Olivia realizes she loves Cesario and there is nothing she can do about that--she can't conceal it. She tries to convince him to love her back, but he says that his heart belongs to no woman. He starts to leave, and she tells him to come back again--maybe she can convince him to love her.

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