Twelfth Night scene summaries

act 1 scene 1 orsino expresses his love for oliviavalentine says orsino has been rejected by olivia as she is still in mourning for her dead brother
act 1 scene 2 viola is cast up after shipwreck believing her brother to be deadviola decides to disguise herself as a eunuch and enter orsino’s service
act 1 scene 3 toby complains about olivia’s behaviour and maria tells him to keep his revelry under controltoby and maria argue about andrew who toby has encouraged to woo oliviaandrew enters and is made a fool of
act 1 scene 4 valentine suggests cesario is already close to orsinoorsino sends cesario to woo oliviaviola reveals she wants to marry orsino
act 1 scene 5 feste mocks olivia’s mourningmalvolio expresses his disapproval of festecesario delivers orsino’s messageolivia says she can’t love oliviaalone olivia reveals her attraction to cesario and gets malvolio to chase after him with a ring
act 2 scene 1 sebastian tells antonio he thinks his sister died in the shipwrecksebastian decides to go to orsino’s court antonio follows despite having enemies there
act 2 scene 2 malvolio gives cesario the ring but he refuses itmalvolio throws it at his feetcesario realises he has been caught up in a love triangle
act 2 scene 3 toby, andrew and feste make merry late at nightfeste sings a song about brevity of life and making the most of lovemalvolio enters and tells them offmaria hatches a plot to get revenge against him
act 2 scene 4 orsino asks cesario if he has ever been in lovecesario tells orsino the person he loves is very similar to orsinofeste sings a song about unrequited love orsino says women cannot love as strongly as men and tells cesario to return to olivia with another message of lovecesario argues women can love as strongly as men giving the example of a sister he had who never spoke of her love
act 2 scene 5 toby recruits fabian to the revenge plottoby, fabian and andrew hide as malvolio approachesmalvolio imagines himself married to olivia and giving orders to toby and criticises andrewmalvolio discovers letter and is convinced it is proof of olivia’s love for himhe decides to follow the letter’s instructions of smiling, being rude to toby, yellow stockings and cross garterstoby claims he is so happy he could marry maria out of gratitude
act 3 scene 1 cesario and feste engage in wordplay and discuss how meanings of word can be turned inside outcesario comments on feste’s wisdom despite his role as a fool once aloneolivia reveals her passion for cesario to himcesario rejects him and says he could never love a woman
act 3 scene 2 andrew decides to go home as he realises olivia is in love with cesariofabian suggests olivia is trying to make him jealoustoby convinces andrew to challenge cesario to a duelmaria arrives to tell toby and fabian that malvolio is wearing yellow stockings and cross garters
act 3 scene 3 antonio has followed sebastian to illyriaantonio stays at lodgings while sebastian explores as he reveals he was once in a naval battle against orsino’s fleet
act 3 scene 4 olivia shocked to see smiling, yellow-stockinged, cross-gartered malvolio who references the letter, makes bawdy comments and insults tobyolivia believes he must be ill and orders toby to take care of himtoby, maria and fabian plot to imprison malvolio in a dark room toby tells andrew to go fight cesario, meanwhile toby warns cesario andrew wants to fight him and is a dangerous fightertoby then tells andrew that cesario is a skilled fighteras andrew and cesario reluctantly draw their swords antonio entersantonio defends cesariowhile antonio is being arrested he asks cesario for his money, but cesario denies knowing himantonio tells officers he saved ‘sebastian’ from a shipwreckviola sees this as proof of her brother’s survivaltoby and fabian encourage andrew to go hit cesario
act 4 scene 1 feste greets sebastian as cesario and bids him return to oliviaandrew hits sebastian, who hits him backsebastian and toby are about to fight as olivia arrivesolivia angrily dismisses toby and apologises to sebastian believing he is cesariosebastian agrees to go home with olivia
act 4 scene 2 feste dresses up as sir topas the curate and visits malvoliotoby tries to put a stop to feste’s jest saying he wishes ‘we were well rid of this knavery’feste resumes his true identitymalvolio asks feste for writing materialsfeste switches between his true identity and his disguise and finally agrees to bring malvolio pen and paperfeste leaves singing a song about the devil
act 4 scene 3 sebastian wonders about the turn of eventsolivia enters with a priest and asks sebastian to marry her privatelysebastian agrees to marry her
act 5 scene 1 feste enters with malvolio’s letterorsino send feste to tell olivia of his arrivalantonio enters and cesario recognises him as the man who rescued himantonio explains how he saved sebastian and now he denies knowing himorsino accuses olivia of being heartless and, realising she is in love with cesario, threatens to tear out cesario’s eyescesario says he must follow the man he loves and olivia accuses him of betrayal as they are married, which cesario deniesolivia calls the priest to confirm they did marryandrew arrives, accusing cesario of injuring him and toby, which cesario deniessebastian enters, apologies to olivia for hurting toby and to antonio for losing himsebastian sees cesario, the twins reveal their identities to one anothersebastian tells olivia he understands her behaviour noworsino sees viola in a new light and wants to see her in her ‘women’s weeds’feste enters and reads malvolio’s letterolivia, realising malvolio can’t be mad, sends fabian to release himolivia and orsino agree on a double weddingmalvolio enters and accuses olivia of wronging him and explains his behaviour by producing maria’s letterolivia realises he has been tricked by maria and promises him he can punish the trickstersmalvolio promises ‘to be revenged on the whole pack of you’feste sings a song about the sad life of actors, fools and humans in general, but ultimately hopes to make the audience laugh