Act 5, Scene 1 Notes from Twelfth Night

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Twelfth Night Act 5, Scene 1

Fabian demands to see the letter Malvolio wrote, but the clown won't let him. Orsino arrives, and talks with the clown a moment. The clown tells him that his friends make a fool out of him by complimenting him all the time, while his enemies at least tell him the truth. Therefore, he likes his enemies better than his friends. The Duke admires this logic and compliments him, and the clown says, "no: though it please you to be one of my friends." Act 5, Scene 1, line 24 The clown makes such witty comments that the Duke keeps giving him money, until finally he gets tired of the game and tells the clown to send for Olivia. The clown goes, and just then Antonio and the officers arrive. Cesario points out Antonio to the Duke as the one who rescued him from the duel with Sir Andrew, and Orsino remembers Antonio. He says Antonio and his men fought Orsino in a tiny boat, but they still won, and Orsino had to admire their skill and bravery in spite of himself. Cesario explains that though Antonio saved him, he also spoke nonsense. Orsino asks Antonio for an explanation, and Antonio cries that Cesario (who he thinks is Sebastian) abandoned him, even though he saved his life during a storm, and then spent three months as his closest friend. Olivia arrives. She is angry with Cesario for not keeping his promise (the promise that Sebastian, not Cesario, in fact made.) Cesario of course does not know what she means, but Orsino figures out that Olivia loves Cesario. Enraged, he says he will kill Cesario, whom he cares for, to spite Olivia. Cesario responds, "And I...to do you rest, a thousand deaths would die." Act 5, Scene 1, line 130

When Cesario starts to go after Orsino, Olivia asks him what he's doing, and he tells her he loves Orsino. Horrified, Olivia asks him how he could forget the vows he made to a priest so recently. Now it is Orsino's turn to be shocked. He watches as the priest comes in and agrees with Olivia's story: Cesario and Olivia were married in secret two hours ago. Orsino says that Cesario may have Olivia, but he hopes to never see him again. Just then Andrew arrives, crying for a doctor: Sebastian has beaten both him and Toby. Andrew sees Cesario and, thinking he is Sebastian, confronts him angrily. Cesario is, of course, confused, and says he never hurt any of them. The clown, Andrew, and Fabian all help the furious Sir Toby away. Sebastian comes in, apologizing to Olivia for hurting her relative Sir Toby. Olivia stares at him, shocked, and he thinks it means she is angry. Then the Duke, Antonio and Olivia simply stand there marvelling at how similar Sebastian and Cesario look. Sebastian asks who Cesario is, and he says he is from Messaline, and had a father and brother named Sebastian, but the latter drowned. Viola explains how the captain dressed her as Cesario. Sebastian tells Olivia that, though she loved him by mistake, he still loves her. Orsino turns to Viola, finally realizing what she meant all those times she told him she would, if she were a woman, love a man just like him. The clown and Fabian come in with the letter from Malvolio, and the clown says that Malvolio is clearly insane. He begins reading the letter the way a madman would. Irritated, Olivia makes Fabian read the letter instead. The letter explains that Malvolio is not crazy at all. He says he was only doing what Olivia herself commanded him to do in a letter. Olivia, seeing that Malvolio does not sound insane, sends for him. She turns to Orsino and suggests that he accept her as a sister-in-law, and marry Viola. Orsino says to Viola, "Since you called me master for so long, here is my hand; you shall from this time be your master's mistress." Act 5, Scene 1, line 322

Malvolio arrives with Fabian, and indignantly gives the letter written by Maria to Olivia. Olivia immediately sees that the letter was written by Maria. Fabian quickly comes forward and explains that Fabian and Toby thought of the trick, and since Maria carried it out, Toby has since married her. He suggests that, rather than punish them, Malvolio and Olivia simply laugh, because they were punished enough when they were beaten by Sebastian. Nevertheless, Malvolio is furious, and runs away yelling for revenge. Orsino happily announces that soon there will be a marriage ceremony, and everyone leaves except the clown. The clown sings about being a mischievous little boy who was charming when he was young, but unwelcome in society when he grew up, and finishes the play with the end of the song: "A great while ago the world begun, with hey, ho, the wind and the rain, but that's all one, our play is done, and we'll strive to please you every day." Act 5, Scene 1, line 403

Topic Tracking: Jokes 10
Topic Tracking: Romance 10

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