Act 1, Scene 5 Notes from Twelfth Night

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Twelfth Night Act 1, Scene 5

Maria enters with Feste the clown. Maria is trying to force the clown to tell her where he has been--otherwise, she says, she will not defend him when Olivia gets angry with him for being away. The clown says he doesn't care what happens to him: if she kills him, he won't have anything to fear, because he'll be dead. Maria seems pleased with this reasoning. She asks him what will happen if he is banished, and he says, "Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage; and for turning away, let summer bear it out." Act 1, Scene 5, line 19 Maria and the clown joke back and forth, and he compliments her wit. Olivia arrives with Malvolio The clown suggests that sometimes people who seem wise are fools, and vice versa.

Topic Tracking: Jokes 4
Topic Tracking: Disguise 3

Olivia tells her servants to take the fool away, and the clown says, "Do you not hear, fellows? Take away the lady." Act 1, Scene 5, line 37 Olivia protests that she is not interested in his jokes, but the clown reasons with her. He says that no one is completely a fool or completely wise, just as no one is completely good or bad. He tells her, in a seemingly nonsensical speech, that she should give up mourning her brother and get married while she is still young.

Topic Tracking: Disguise 4

Olivia, now interested in the clown, allows him to prove that she is a fool. He tells her that since she believes her brother is in heaven, she is a fool for being sad about his death. Olivia, enjoying this, asks Malvolio if he likes it as well. Malvolio says the clown will keep improving as he gets older, because "Infirmity, that decays the wise, doth ever make the better fool." Act 1, Scene 5, line 74 The clown replies that while Sir Toby knows the clown is not wise, he will not say that Malvolio is not a fool. Annoyed, Malvolio wonders how Olivia could be entertained by such a boring idiot. Olivia says that it's silly to get angry at a fool--she thinks Malvolio takes himself too seriously. Maria enters, announcing that a young man is there to see Olivia, and Sir Toby is making him wait at the gate. Olivia instructs Malvolio to find out who the man is: if he is from Orsino, Malvolio should make him go away, no matter what it takes. As Malvolio leaves, the clown notices Toby coming, and comments on how weak his brain is. Toby is too drunk to even understand that Olivia wants to know who is at the gate, so when he leaves, she sends the clown to look after him. She is afraid he will "drown" himself. The clown leaves, commenting, "The fool shall look after the madman." Act 1, Scene 5, line 139 Malvolio returns, saying that the young man outside refuses to leave. Olivia asks what kind of man this is, and Malvolio says he is hardly a man at all--his voice is high, and he looks very young. Olivia tells him to let the man in, and calls for Maria, telling her to throw a veil over Olivia's face. Viola, dressed as Cesario, enters. Olivia will not say whether or not she is the lady of the house. Cesario wants to make his speech for the Duke and leave, but Olivia questions him. Cesario will not say who he is. Olivia is not interested in the speech, but Cesario protests that he can only recite it a certain way, because he has it memorized. Olivia counters that this means the speech will probably be false. She let Cesario in because she was interested in him, not what he had to say. Cesario protests: he really has to make this speech, and he has to say it to Olivia privately. He begins his speech, and Olivia ridicules his tired cliches. He begs her to reveal her face, and she finally does. Cesario, trying to be polite, says she is beautiful, and then tries to steer the conversation back to how much Orsino loves her. Olivia merely says that Orsino already knows that she cannot love him, even though she knows he is a good man. Cesario says that if he loved Olivia the way Orsino does, he can't imagine how she could refuse him, since he would devote his life to his love of her. Interested, Olivia asks him about his background again. Cesario is vague. Olivia tells him to go, and tries to give him money, which he will not take. When he leaves, Olivia realizes that she has fallen in love with Cesario. She wonders, "How now? Even so quickly may one catch the plague?" Act 1, Scene 5, line 298

Topic Tracking: Romance 3

Olivia calls in Malvolio, and tells him to take a ring left by the Cesario on behalf of the Count back to Cesario: she doesn't want it. She says she will tell Cesario why if he comes back tomorrow.

Topic Tracking: Disguise 5

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