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Scenes 2.1, 2.2, and 2.3

Scene 2.1 - Near the coast of Illyria

Sebastian and Antonio enter. Sebastian, it soon turns out, is Viola's twin brother, the one she thought was lost in the shipwreck, where he thinks his sister drowned; Antonio is the captain who saved him. Antonio offers to go with Sebastian, but Sebastian insists that he's cursed and unfortunate, and Antonio will have better luck without him. Antonio asks where Sebastian will go, and Sebastian insists that he will only be wandering. After relating how his sister is beautiful but looks exactly like him, and denying one more request by Antonio to be his servant, Sebastian admits that he's headed to see Orsino, and departs. Alone, Antonio decides that he will follow Sebastian to Orsino's court, even though he has enemies there.

Scene 2.2 - Between Olivia's house and Orsino's palace

Malvolio finds Cesario, and returns the ring Cesario left behind. Further, he says, Olivia will accept no more messages from Orsino. Cesario insists that "he" left no ring, but Malvolio throws it down on the ground, saying that, if Cesario will not take it, then whoever stumbles across it may have it, and leaves. Alone, Viola wonders what has happened: she left no ring behind, and Olivia was acting strangely, speaking nervously - she's sure Olivia is in love with her. Viola laments how easily women's hearts are tricked. She despairs that her master, whom she loves, would be heart-broken, and so too will Olivia when she finds out who Cesario really is. Cursing her disguise, Viola hopes that these troubles will work out in due time, since she cannot solve them herself.

Scene 2.3 - Olivia's house

Sir Toby and Sir Andrew enter. They joke about their late-night habits - their lives, Sir Andrew observes, consist entirely of eating and drinking. Feste enters. Sir Andrew praises Feste's voice, and reminds Feste of his excellent joking last night, for which Sir Andrew gave him money. The two friends want a love-song - not their other option, a song of "good life" - from Feste: the lyrics of the song ask a man's mistress to seize the day and love while she has the chance. After praising Feste's voice, they all sing together. Maria enters, complaining about the noise, but the men only become more boisterous. Malvolio then comes in, and chides them prudishly for making an "ale house" out of Olivia's home. Further, he says, Olivia is getting tired of Sir Toby's antics, and is ready to throw him out. The friends make fun of Malvolio for his Puritanism, quoting from a popular ballad. Angry, Malvolio leaves, saying that he will tell Olivia how he's been treated. The three of them complain about Malvolio's dull self-righteousness. Then Maria tells Sirs Toby and Andrew her own plan: she's going to write love letters to Malvolio, making them look like they're written by Olivia. Maria leaves, and Sirs Toby and Andrew praise her cleverness, with Sir Toby noting that she adores him. Sir Andrew complains that Olivia will never love him, and Sir Toby advises that he will need money to win her. Finally, Sir Toby decides that it's too late to sleep, and the friends go off together to drink some more wine.

Browse all book notes

Historical Context
Main Characters
Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Plot Summary
Scenes 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3
Scenes 1.4 and 1.5
Scenes 2.1, 2.2, and 2.3
Scenes 2.4 and 2.5
Scenes 3.1, 3.2, and 3.3
Scene 3.4
Scenes 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3
Scene 5.1


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