Search Menu

Twelfth Night

William Shakespeare

Contents

Act I, scenes iii–iv

page 2 of 2

Act I, scenes iii–iv

Act I, scenes iii–iv

Act I, scenes iii–iv

Act I, scenes iii–iv

Act I, scenes iii–iv

Regardless, the way Orsino talks to Cesario makes it clear that Orsino likes Cesario very much—and his language is closer to that of romantic love than that of ordinary friendship. “Cesario,” he tells him, “Thou know’st no less but all. I have unclasped / To thee the book even of my secret soul” (I.iv.11–13). Clearly, Orsino already seems to be attracted to Cesario in a way that defies our expectations of how male friends interact with one another.

This peculiar attraction is further developed when Orsino tells Cesario why he plans to send him to woo Olivia. Orsino explains that Olivia is more likely to listen to Cesario: “She will attend [Orsino’s repeated messages of love] better in thy youth / Than in a nuncio’s [i.e., messenger’s] of more grave aspect” (I.iv.26-–27). Cesario denies Orsino’s claim, but Orsino tells him that he should believe it, because, in his youthfulness, Cesario is as pretty as a young woman. “Diana’s lip / Is not more smooth and rubious [i.e., rosy]” than Cesario’s, Orsino tells him, comparing him favorably to the goddess Diana; and Cesario’s voice, Orsino claims, “[i]s as the maiden’s organ, shrill and sound, / And all is semblative a woman’s part” (I.iv.30–33). This series of compliments is both intriguing and complicated. In praising Cesario’s attractiveness, Orsino tells Cesario that he looks like a woman. His interest in having Cesario go to Olivia suggests his belief that Cesario’s womanly beauty will somehow entice Olivia. At the same time, it is difficult not to read in -Orsino’s words the suggestion that he too finds Cesario attractive: after all, Cesario reminds him strongly of a beautiful young woman.

Test Your Understanding with the Act I, scenes iii–iv Quiz

Take a quiz on this section
Test Your Understanding with the Act I, scenes iii–iv Quiz

TAKE THE QUIZ
+
#

ACT I, SCENES III–IV QUIZ

What does Maria think of Sir Andrew Aguecheek?
He’s a drunk
He’s boring
Test Your Understanding with the Act I, scenes iii–iv Quiz
TAKE THE QUIZ

Act I, scenes iii–iv QUIZ

+
Test Your Understanding with the Act I, scenes iii–iv Quiz
TAKE THE QUIZ

More Help

Previous Next
Q. Consider Twelfth Night as a romantic comedy.

by touhidsm, May 02, 2014

Answer: William Shakespeare has written a number of romantic comedies. Twelfth Night is one of the finest comedies of the author. We know that a romantic comedy is a play in which the romantic elements are mingled with comic elements. It is a form of comedy which deals with love. Love at first sight is often its main theme.
Read the full answer free at

http://josbd.com/Twelfth_Night.html

1 Comments

12 out of 15 people found this helpful

Q. "Twelfth Night is a typical romantic comedy of Shakespeare." Discuss. Or. What aspects of Twelfth Night justify its being called a romantic play? Or. Critically comment on Twelfth Night as a romantic comedy. Or. Consider Twelfth Night as a romantic

by touhidsm, May 02, 2014

Ans: William Shakespeare has written a number of romantic comedies. Twelfth Night is one of the finest comedies of the author. We know that a romantic comedy is a play in which the romantic elements are mingled with comic elements. It is a form of comedy which deals with love. Love at first sight is often its main theme. Generally, a romantic comedy starts with some problems that make the union of the lover difficult. But it ends with their happy union. Twelfth Night is a typical romantic play of Shakespeare. It has some elements which give ... Read more

0 Comments

61 out of 69 people found this helpful

Twelfth Night as a romantic comedy

by touhidsm, May 04, 2014

Answer: William Shakespeare has written a number of romantic comedies. Twelfth Night is one of the finest comedies of the author. We know that a romantic comedy is a play in which the romantic elements are mingled with comic elements. It is a form of comedy which deals with love. Love at first sight is often its main theme. Generally, a romantic comedy starts with some problems that make the union of the lover difficult. But it ends with their happy union. Twelfth Night is a typical romantic play of Shakespeare. It has some elements which gi... Read more

0 Comments

23 out of 27 people found this helpful

See all 16 readers' notes   →