Twelfth Night, Acts IV an V

Review this vocabulary table, paying close attention to the bolded words in context. Then match those words with their definitions. You may use a dictionary or any other reference material if you do not know the meaning of a word based on the context alone.1. reprove2. accost3. surfeit4. prattle5. mollification6. feigned7. folly8. peevish 9. recompense 1. criticize or correct the mistakes of someone 2. approach in a challenging or aggressive manner3. satisfy a desire 4. pretended 5. appeasement6. talk meaninglessly 7. act of foolishness 8. ill-tempered 9. pay backsurfeit—satisfy a desirefolly—act of foolishnessreprove—criticize or correct the mistakes of someoneaccost—approach in a challenging or aggressive mannerprattle—talk meaninglesslyrecompense—pay backfeigned—pretendedpeevish—ill-temperedmollification—appeasemnt
Read the opening lines of Twelfth Night. How do these lines introduce the audience to the theme of love, including the ways in which love can cause pain?DUKE: If music be the food of love, play on,Give me excess of it that, surfeiting,The appetite may sicken and so die.That strain again, it had a dying fall.O, it came o’er my ear like the sweet soundThat breathes upon a bank of violets,Stealing and giving odour. Enough, no more,’Tis not so sweet now as it was before.[Music ceases]O spirit of love, how quick and fresh art thouThat, notwithstanding thy capacityReceiveth as the sea, naught enters there,Of what validity and pitch so e’er,But falls into abatement and low priceEven in a minute! So full of shapes is fancyThat it alone is high fantastical. Orsino, the lovesick duke of Illyria, speaks these lines. He introduces the audience to the theme of love as overpowering and fickle. He calls sweet music the “food of love” and wants “an excess of it” so that he can satisfy his appetite for it. However, when the music is no longer sweet, Orsino compares it to the sea. Like the sea, it engulfs everything and debases its value to a “low price.” He concludes that love can change from sweet music to an engulfing sea in a matter of one minute. He also suggests that it shifts shape at whim. The fickleness of love reflects Orsino’s own inconstant nature, casting him as self-indulgent and melodramatic. Finally, because Orsino never names the object of his love in these opening lines, the emotional outpouring indicates that Orsino is consumed more by the idea of love than by love for Olivia.
How does Viola’s disguise as Cesario create comic situations in Twelfth Night while also being one of the play’s main sources of conflict? Use examples from the play to support your answer. Viola’s disguise adds the element of dramatic irony to the play Twelfth Night and sets in motion a series of comic situations that spring from mistaken identity. As Cesario the page, Viola has to woo Olivia, who is Orsino’s love interest but has no interest in Orsino. Instead, Viola falls in love with Orsino but cannot express her feelings because she can’t give away her disguise:VIOLA: I’ll do my bestTo woo your lady. [Aside] Yet, a barful strife!Whoe’er I woo, myself would be his wife.Viola realizes another problem created by the disguise when Olivia falls in love with her as Cesario:VIOLA: And she, mistaken, seems to dote on me.What will become of this? As I am man,My state is desperate for my master’s love;As I am woman,–now alas the day!–What thriftless sighs shall poor Olivia breathe!O time! thou must untangle this, not I;It is too hard a knot for me to untie!Her disguise again proves to be a problem when Sir Andrew Aguecheek, considering her a man, challenges her to a duel. However, the disguise helps her to find her brother Sebastian when Antonio mistakes her for Sebastian.
Read act IV of Twelfth Night. Then arrange the following events in order from earliest to latest.TilesSebastian thinks that he is suffering from memory loss or has gone mad.Feste, disguised as Sir Topas, ridicules Malvolio in the dark cell.Sebastian meets Feste, who mistakes him for Viola/Cesario.Olivia mistakenly thinks Sebastian is Cesario.Olivia gets a priest and marries Sebastian, still thinking he is Cesario. 1. Sebastian meets Feste, who mistakes him for Viola/Cesario.2. Olivia mistakenly thinks Sebastian is Cesario.3. Feste, disguised as sir Topas, ridicules Malvolio in the dark cell.4. Sebastian thinks that he is suffering from memory loss or has gone mad.5. Olivia gets a priest and marries Sebastian, still thinking he is Cesario.
Read act V of Twelfth Night. Then respond to the following question:In the moment right before Sebastian’s entrance in act V, scene I, Viola is surrounded by people who incorrectly think they know who she is. Why might this moment of mistaken identity be considered the most complicated moment of Twelfth Night? Act V, scene I, is a moment of utter chaos. Some of the characters surrounding Viola think she is Sebastian, while others think she is Cesario. This case of mistaken identity sets in motion a series of complex situations. Viola is bewildered by other people’s reactions to her. Antonio mistakes Viola/Cesario for Sebastian and accuses her of stealing his money. Olivia thinks Viola/Cesario is tricking her by feigning ignorance about their marriage. She calls in the priest to testify, and Viola/Cesario earns the wrath of Orsino for allegedly breaking his trust. Sir Andrew wrongly thinks Viola/Cesario was in the duel that injured him, and he accuses her of attacking him. These complications all stem from Viola’s disguise. However, just as matters seem to be getting out of hand, Sebastian enters, and the problems are resolved.
Critics often note that Malvolio’s storyline is odd because it is so bleak. Although Shakespeare’s comedies often include some serious characters with unhappy endings, Malvolio’s story seems bleaker than most. Explore the character of Malvolio in greater depth. Then take a stance on the following questions about Malvolio: Does Malvolio’s fate at the end of the play seem fair? Why do you think Shakespeare included him in the play at all? Malvolio is the head steward in Olivia’s household. He has a serious disposition and performs his duties meticulously. He does not like any kind of excesses and is strongly opposed to the loud merry-making that Sir Toby and his friends indulge in.Malvolio is the Puritan in the play. He has high moral values and a dislike of partying, fun, and fooling around. He also believes himself to be well suited for a higher rank in society. He is proud, self-absorbed, and rude in his interactions with his peers.The cruel practical joke that Sir Toby, Maria, and Sir Andrew devise for Malvolio makes his storyline a bleak one. He acts like a madman in front of Olivia, is imprisoned in a dark cell, and is forced to believe that he has lost his sanity. In the end, when all the lovers are united, Malvolio is left out in the cold. He leaves the stage angrily saying, “I’ll be revenged on the whole pack of you.” He is the only character left disgruntled at the end of the play.If the reader or viewer of the play does not identify or sympathize with Malvolio, his fate may seem harsh but also somewhat funny. On the other hand, people who have some sympathy for him may think that other characters are unfairly cruel to him. Shakespeare may have created Malvolio with the intention of poking fun at the Puritans. In Elizabethan England. Puritans were well known for opposing playwrights and playhouses. They felt that theaters were breeding grounds for moral corruption.
Disguises and mistaken identity are important themes in Twelfth Night. Describe the moments in which disguises and mistaken identity play an important role in the scenes listed in the table below.act III, scene IV act III, scene IV Sir Toby brings the letter that challenges Viola/Cesario to a duel with Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Viola knows that her disguise has landed her in this situation. Despite her efforts to wriggle out of the situation, she finally has to take up the challenge.Antonio enters the scene at this moment and mistakes Viola for Sebastian. He offers to fight on behalf of Sebastian. He is arrested, and in his defense, he states that he was only trying to protect Sebastian. Viola sees a ray of hope in this situation, believing that her brother Sebastian may actually be alive.act IV, scene I Feste, the clown, mistakes Sebastian for Cesario (Viola) and brings him to Olivia’s house. Sir Andrew and Sir Toby attack Sebastian thinking he is Cesario, who was in the duel; Sebastian retaliates and wounds them.All through this mayhem, Sebastian remains confused as to what is happening. This chaos is a result of mistaken identity.act IV, scene III Sebastian is wondering about his sanity due to a series of strange events that are taking place around him. Olivia gives him a pearl and expresses her desire to marry him.Sebstian is bewildered at this turn of events and is looking for Antonio. Olivia comes back with a priest and gets married to Sebastian. Olivia has taken these actions under the impression that Sebastian is Cesario, whom she loves.act V Orsino and Cesario meet Antonio. Antonio thinks that Cesario is Sebastian and admonishes him for running off with his money. Olivia is angry with Cesario for denying their recent marriage. Orsino rebukes Cesario for betraying his trust. Sir Andrew and Sir Toby accuse Cesario of attacking and injuring them.Viola is bewildered by all these events. The accusations hurled at her are due to mistaken identity. Many of the characters think her twin brother Sebastian is Cesario.Viola’s disguise is the root cause of this chaos. The complications reach a head in this act. The problems are resolved when Sebastian appears and his identity is revealed.
Pick the scene in the play that you feel is the most important instance of mistaken identity. Explain why you think it is important, using examples from the text to support your answer. Here is one example based on act V, scene I:Act V, scene I, of Twelfth Night is the most important instance of mistaken identity in the play. The complications that arise from Viola’s disguise reach a climax in this scene. The matters seem to go beyond Viola’s control, and only the timely intervention of Sebastian saves the day.
Puns are plays on multiple meanings of words
In your reading of Twelfth Night, you probably noticed that William Shakespeare’s characters speak a language that is different from contemporary conversational English. In the table below, rephrase lines from the play into modern wording, changing word choice, sentence structure, and poetic devices as needed. Then describe what is lost in literary richness and what is gained in accessibility.Lines from Twelfth Night CESARIO: Lady, you are the cruell’st she aliveIf you will lead these graces to the graveAnd leave the world no copy. (act I, scene V)Modern Version Differences Lines from Twelfth Night MALVOLIO: Why have you suffered me to be imprisoned,Kept in a dark house, visited by the priest,And made the most notorious geck and gullThat e’er invention played on? Tell me why.(act V, scene I)Modern Version Differences Lines from Twelfth Night ORSINO: If music be the food of love, play on,Give me excess of it; that, surfeiting,The appetite may sicken, and so die.(act I, scene I)Modern Version Differences Lines from Twelfth Night CESARIO: Lady, you are the cruell’st she aliveIf you will lead these graces to the graveAnd leave the world no copy. (act I, scene V)Modern Version CESARIO: You will be a cruel woman if you die and don’t leave behind a copy of your graceful self in the form of a child.Differences The original was more interesting than the modern rephrasing. The modern version loses many poetic qualities, including “the cruell’st she,” with the emphatic word alive after it. The phrase “lead these graces to the grave” is also more poetic than the rephrasing. The original line echoes the GR and the A sounds in the words graces and graves. Similarly, changing “these graces” to “your graceful self” makes the text clearer but less poetic. Saying “if you die” in the rephrasing is also more straightforward but not as elegant. In the same way, changing the last line, “leave the world no copy,” to a more straightforward rephrasing is more accessible but less suggestive.Lines from Twelfth Night MALVOLIO: Why have you suffered me to be imprisoned,Kept in a dark house, visited by the priest,And made the most notorious geck and gullThat e’er invention played on? Tell me why.(act V, scene I)Modern Version MALVOLIO: Why did you force me into imprisonment in a dark place, where a priest visited me, and make me look like the greatest idiot ever? Tell me why.Differences Many of the more poetic phrases in the original lines are lost in the modern version. For example, the alliteration found in the phrase “the most notorious geck and gull” is lost in the modern phrase “the biggest idiot.” Similarly, removing the original phrase “That e’er invention played on,” makes the modern lines easier to follow but less interesting and complex. In the original, the audience has to stop and consider what this phrase means. Does the word invention refer to a creator god or just the trio who devised this trick to play on Malvolio? The modern version contains no such ambiguous meaning.Lines from Twelfth Night ORSINO: If music be the food of love, play on,Give me excess of it; that, surfeiting,The appetite may sicken, and so die.(act I, scene I)Modern Version ORSINO: If music is the food of love, then keep on playing it until I’ve had so much of it that I’ll finally be satisfied and my desire for love will weaken and die.Differences Although the rephrasing may be easier for modern audiences to follow, it does not do as good of a job of conveying Duke Orsino’s melancholy and melodramatic mood. For example, saying “If music is” in the modern version is not as interesting or evocative as saying “If music be” in the original phrasing. The original lines also contain a notable rhythm that the modernization lacks. In addition, the original lines use alliteration to highlight the words surfeit, sicken, and so die.

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