Act he appears he is dressed in

Act four scene three of Twelfth Night features a love struck Olivia who is trying to get Cesario, who is Viola in disguise, to fall in love and stay with her. Once Cesario leaves she sends a servant after him to try and get him to come back to her. Feeling grim, she sends for Malvolio so she can have someone to talk with, but when he appears he is dressed in ridiculous clothing. Once Olivia sees how Malvio is acting she determines that he is crazy, but then receives news that Cesario came back. When she hears this, she sends Maria and Sir Toby to take care of Malvolio while she visits Cesario. Malvolio, still convinced that Olivio write him the letter, thinks that he is correct in his theory and Olivia is in love with him. When Maria and Sir Toby arrive, they determine that he is possessed and lock him in a dark room. Sir Andrew then enter with the letter to challenge Cesario to a duel.

Sir Toby tells him that he will deliver the letter to Cesario, but in reality he will not deliver it and just mess with both of them. Meanwhile, Olivia and Cesario walk out of the house and Olivia insists that Cesario take a locket with her picture in it with him. Cesario tries to reject it, but Olivia insists he take it and then tells him to come back the next day. Sir Toby sees that Cesario is there and delivers the letter. Cesario doesn’t want to fight and leaves.

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Sir Toby then returns to Sir Andrew and tell him that Cesario is a great swordsman and tried to attack him with a sword. Cesario and Sir Andrew then cross paths and prepare to duel each other. In that moment, Antonio arrives and sees the fight. Antonio, thinking that Viola is Sebastian, volunteers to fight in her place. Then Illyrian officers arrive and see Antonio who is a criminal in Illyria. When Antonio get arrested, he asks ‘Sebastian’ for his purse. A confused Viola tells him that she doesn’t have it. Antonio then thinks that Sebastian is betraying him and rebukes him and he is taken away.

Viola then realizes that Sebastian is still alive and is overjoyed. A constant theme not only in this act, but through the whole play is disguise/deception. The characters in Twelfth Night are continually disguising themselves or playing parts in order to trick the people around them. Some of the most notable examples are Viola disguising herself as Cesario, Maria and Sir Toby playing their prank on Malvolio. and Feste dressing up as the scholar, Sir Topas.

More subtle examples are Orsino’s cliché lovesickness for Olivia and Olivia’s equally clichéd response as the unattainable mourning woman bring into question the extent to which these characters are just playing these roles rather than truly feeling the emotions they claim to be experiencing. Through the continuous performance and role-playing of his characters, Shakespeare reminds us that we, like the characters, play roles in our own lives and are susceptible to the role playing of others. This theme could also be connected to gender and sexuality identity because through this scene these change in genders has caused many problems throughout both sides.

Antonio confuses Sebastian and Olivia and leads to believe false realizations. Other themes that are present are desire/love. All the major characters in this play go through some form of desire or love. Orsino is in love with Olivia. Viola falls in love with Orsino, while she is disguised as Cesario. Olivia falls in love with Cesario.

This is shown in lines 189-193 when Olivia says,”Here, wear this jewel for me, ’tis my picture;Refuse it not; it hath no tongue to vex you;And I beseech you come again to-morrow.What shall you ask of me that I’ll deny,That honour saved may upon asking give?”In this section Olivia is giving Cesario a present that represents her love for ‘him’. The love triangle is only able to be resolved when Olivia and Sebastian, Viola’s twin brother, marry each other and Orsino notices that he loves Viola which isn’t seen until act five. This play obtains an abundance of its comedy by mocking each lover. Shakespeare makes fun of Orsino’s fancy poetry, and makes it clear that Orsino is more in love with being “in love” than with his actual lovers. Nevertheless, by demonstrating a specific way of how nobles partake in courtship, he analyzes how the characters deal with love.

Twelfth Night further makes a mockery of each character and their romance through the mischievousness of the servants. Malvolio’s foolish acts, which he thinks will secure Olivia’s heart, emphasizes Orsino’s less romantic ideas. Meanwhile, Sir Andrew, Sir Toby Belch, and Maria, are always cracking mindless innuendos that make it clear that love is at moderately driven by desire and sex.


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