Why does Viola disguise herself as a boy?

Having found herself shipwrecked in a strange, unfamiliar land, and believing her brother to be lost at sea, Viola puts on a disguise for her own safety. Her initial plan is to work in Olivia’s household, but when she hears Olivia is refusing visitors, Viola turns her attention to Duke Orsino. Disguising herself as a young boy allows her to gain entry to the duke’s house and assume the role of servant, which she finds preferable to wandering Illyria alone and unprotected.

Why is Olivia melancholy at the beginning of the play?

At the start of the play, Olivia mourns her brother’s death. Valentine explains to Orsino why Olivia won’t return Orsino’s romantic feelings, claiming that Olivia has vowed to wear a dark veil for seven years so no one can see her face or marry her. Later, Olivia herself tells the clown Feste that she is mourning her brother’s death, and that grief makes her melancholy. The loss of Olivia’s brother creates a thematic link between the love she felt for her brother, and the deep fraternal love between the twins Sebastian and Viola. However, Olivia’s excessive and melodramatic mourning shows that she is somewhat self-indulgent and preoccupied with her own feelings. The disorderly behavior in Olivia’s household (drunkenness, practical jokes, and general chaos) possibly comes from Olivia indulging in grief rather than upholding her responsibilities.

Why is the play called Twelfth Night?

The title Twelfth Night refers to the twelfth night of Christmas, also known as the eve of Epiphany, a day that is often celebrated with a temporary suspension of rules and social orders. While there is no obvious reference to the holiday within the play itself, it channels the rowdiness of the holiday revelries and mimics the conventions of the Twelfth Night celebrations.

What causes Olivia to fall in love with Cesario?

Olivia falls in love with Cesario (Viola’s alter-ego) almost immediately, in spite of Cesario’s futile attempts to woo her on behalf of the duke. Olivia is struck by Cesario’s feminine appearance, the straightforward manner in which he speaks—a contrast to the flowery language of Orsino, whose constant attempts at flattery she’s grown tired of—and the fact that he appears not to be particularly interested in her, all of which render Cesario very alluring.

Why do Sir Toby, Sir Andrew, and Maria dislike Malvolio?

Sir Toby, Sir Andrew, and Maria dislike Malvolio’s priggishness and lack of humor, and the disdain with which he treats them for their merrymaking. They also find his desire to elevate his social status both absurd and hypocritical, and seek to punish him for it. Because he breaks up their party, and because of his ambition and staunch commitment to order, Maria concocts a scheme designed to prey on and punish his pride.

Is Antonio in love with Sebastian?

Antonio’s love for Sebastian becomes so strong, it appears romantic in nature. One possible reason for Antonio’s attachment is that he rescued Sebastian and nursed him back to health. As Antonio explains, “His life I gave him and did thereto add / My love, without retention or restraint” (5.1.). Sebastian also seems to be very handsome and charming, as evidenced by Olivia’s intense attraction to him, which perhaps increases Antonio’s fondness. Because of his affection for Sebastian and desire to be close to him, Antonio follows Sebastian to Orsino’s court even though he acknowledges that “I have many enemies in Orsino’s court” (2.1.). As a consequence for helping Sebastian, Antonio later accepts his arrest at the hands of Orsino’s men, stating “This comes with seeking you / But there’s no remedy” (3.4.). We never learn the exact motivation for Antonio’s deep attachment to Sebastian, but Antonio is evidently in love.

How does Maria impress the other members of Olivia’s household?

Maria impresses Sir Toby and Sir Andrew by engineering a clever idea to trick Malvolio, whom none of them like because Malvolio spoils their fun. After Maria proposes her plan to forge love letters to Malvolio from Olivia, Sir Andrew praises Maria by saying “she’s a good wench” (2.3.). Later, Sir Toby states that he is so impressed with Maria’s trick he wants to marry her, with Sir Andrew agreeing. Sir Toby does in fact go on to marry Maria. Maria’s plan to trick Malvolio might not be very kind, but the plan is intelligent, shrewd, and funny. By marrying Maria, Sir Toby acknowledges that he admires these qualities in a woman, mirroring Orsino’s admiration of Viola’s courage and intelligence. The plotlines around both Maria and Viola show that assertive, risk-taking female characters can win the respect of men around them.

Why does Sir Andrew challenge Cesario to a duel?

Sir Andrew challenges Cesario to a duel (unaware that the young man is actually Viola in disguise) because he sees in Cesario a rival for Olivia’s affection. Having witnessed Olivia and Cesario together, Sir Andrew is on the brink of giving up on his futile pursuit of Olivia altogether when Sir Toby convinces Sir Andrew to prove his manliness by fighting Cesario. Sir Toby, who has been spending Sir Andrew’s money and wishes to keep him around, adds fuel to the fire by telling each combatant that the other is a fierce swordsman, despite neither actually wanting to fight.

Why does Malvolio believe Olivia is in love with him?

Maria, Sir Toby, and Sir Andrew deceive Malvolio into believing that Olivia is in love with him by forging love letters from Olivia to Malvolio. Maria comes up with the idea of tricking uptight Malvolio after he threatens to tell Olivia about Sir Toby and Sir Andrew’s drunken fun. Malvolio is indeed fooled by the forged love letters, but the deception is only possible because of Malvolio’s arrogance and ambition. He quickly starts to imagine other signs of Olivia’s fondness for him, noting that “she uses me with a more exalted respect than anyone else that follows her” (2.5.). Malvolio fantasizes about living a luxurious life and bossing around individuals like Sir Toby and Maria when he becomes Olivia’s husband. While Malvolio is presented as naïve and egotistical for believing that Olivia could be in love with him, he becomes an increasingly pitiable figure as he follows the directions in the forged love letters and makes a fool of himself to get Olivia’s attention.

What is the significance of Malvolio wearing yellow cross-gartered stockings?

In the letter Malvolio believes to be from Olivia, she hints that she is in love with him and wants to elevate his social rank. “Olivia” also compliments his yellow cross-gartered stockings, thus guaranteeing he will be wearing them the next time he sees her. Maria, the true letter writer, does this to humiliate Malvolio; in reality, she knows Olivia hates crossed garters and the color yellow.

Why does Sebastian agree to marry Olivia?

From Sebastian’s perspective, Illyria is a strange, chaotic land, comparable to a dream state. Despite having little by way of context, Sebastian instantly agrees to marry Olivia, who has mistaken him for Cesario. He does so because Olivia is beautiful, and because she’s a countess; she possesses great wealth and status, and Sebastian, bewildered by his surroundings, appears to accept the marriage as an inexplicable stroke of luck after a series of misfortunes.

Why does Feste wear a disguise to speak to Malvolio when he is imprisoned?

Even though Malvolio can’t see Feste from inside the dark room where he has been imprisoned, Feste assumes the identity of a priest, Sir Topas, by not only disguising his voice, but also dressing up as him. This suggests that clothes have a power that transcends their physical function. Clothes and identity are bound together, so Feste must dress like Sir Topas in order to impersonate him.

What happens to Malvolio at the end of the play?

At the end of the play, Malvolio is one of the few characters whose fate is not a particularly happy one. He emerges from his dark prison, and the trick is revealed; Olivia acknowledges his hurt feelings but dismisses any malice underlying the other characters’ actions by saying, “Alas, poor fool, how have they baffled thee!” He storms off, vowing revenge.

Why is Orsino so willing to marry Viola?

At the end of the play, Orsino finds out that the character he has known as Cesario is actually a young woman named Viola. Almost immediately, Orsino suggests he and Viola get married. This decision is particularly striking because Orsino has spent the whole play professing his love for Olivia but now abruptly transfers his affections to someone else, proving that his “fancies are more giddy and unfirm” than society’s strict definition of proper attraction (2.4.). Orsino seems interested in marrying Viola for two reasons. The first reason is that he has already been impressed by the devotion and fidelity she showed while disguised as his page. Second, Orsino tells Viola that her service was “So much against the mettle of your sex / So far beneath your soft and tender breeding” (5.1.). Orsino is impressed by Viola’s courage and intelligence, especially once he learns she’s a woman of nobility.

What happens to Antonio at the end of the play?

At the end of the play, Antonio’s love for Sebastian is left unrequited. While Sebastian and the other happy couples celebrate their unions, Antonio is left alone. Having been arrested for piracy, his fate is uncertain. He helps to identify Sebastian in the midst of the confusion, but it’s unclear whether he is set free or remains a prisoner.