Twelfth Night

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 5 Scene 1

page Act 5 Scene 1 Page 11

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ANTONIO

215How have you made division of yourself?
An apple, cleft in two, is not more twin
Than these two creatures. Which is Sebastian?

ANTONIO

How did you divide yourself in two? These two people are as identical as two halves of an apple. Which one is Sebastian?

OLIVIA

Most wonderful!

OLIVIA

How unbelievable!

SEBASTIAN

(looking at VIOLA) Do I stand there? I never had a brother;
220Nor can there be that deity in my nature,
Of here and everywhere. I had a sister,
Whom the blind waves and surges have devoured.
Of charity, what kin are you to me?
What countryman? What name? What parentage?

SEBASTIAN

(looking at VIOLA) Is that me standing over there? I never had a brother, and I’m certainly not a god who can be in two places at once. I had a sister who drowned. Please tell me, how am I related to you? Are you from my country? What’s your name? Who are your parents?

VIOLA

225Of Messaline. Sebastian was my father;
Such a Sebastian was my brother too,
So went he suited to his watery tomb.
If spirits can assume both form and suit
You come to fright us.

VIOLA

I’m from Messaline. Sebastian was my father’s name, and my brother was named Sebastian too. He was dressed just like you are when he drowned. If ghosts can take on someone’s body and clothes, you must be a spirit who’s come to frighten us.

SEBASTIAN

   A spirit I am indeed,
230But am in that dimension grossly clad
Which from the womb I did participate.
Were you a woman, as the rest goes even,
I should my tears let fall upon your cheek
And say “Thrice-welcome, drownèd Viola!”

SEBASTIAN

I am a spirit, yes, since I have a soul. But my spirit has a body attached to it, one that I’ve carried since I was in the womb. If you were a woman, I’d hug you now and cry, and say “Welcome back, drowned Viola!”

VIOLA

235My father had a mole upon his brow.

VIOLA

My father had a mole on his forehead.

SEBASTIAN

And so had mine.

SEBASTIAN

Mine did too.

VIOLA

And died that day when Viola from her birth
Had numbered thirteen years.

VIOLA

He died on Viola’s thirteenth birthday.