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  • Viola

    Viola is a young gentlewoman who has been shipwrecked in a country called Illyria. She was on the ship with her twin brother Sebastian and believes he did not survive the shipwreck. Her father died when she was thirteen and she believes she is now alone with no family. She disguises herself as a boy and serves in the court of the governor of Illyria, Duke Orsino. Orsino takes a liking to his new servant ‘Cesario’ and sends him with messages of love to the Countess Olivia. Olivia, however, falls in love with ‘Cesario’ instead.

      Facts we learn about Viola:

    • She has a twin brother called Sebastian who she believes drowned in the shipwreck she herself survived.
    • The Captain helps her to disguise herself as a young man called ‘Cesario’ and get a job in Orsino’s house.
    • She is resilient and resourceful.
    • She falls in love with Orsino.

    Things they say:

    ‘Yet, a Barful strife / Whoe’er I woo, myself would be his wife’ (Viola, 1:5)

    Viola loves Orsino but is realistic about the obstacles in her way.

    ‘By the very fangs of malice I swear, I am not that I play.’ (Viola, 1:5)

    Viola is very clever with words and often tells other characters who she really is without them realising.

    Things others say about them:

    ‘Not yet old enough for a man, nor young enough for a boy; as a squash is before ‘tis a peascod or a codling when ‘tis almost an apple. ‘Tis with him in standing water between boy and man.’ (Malvolio, 1:5)

    While dressed as Cesario, other characters do not see her as very manly.

    ‘Thy tongue, thy face, thy limbs, actions, and spirit / Do give thee five-fold blazon.’ (Olivia, 1:5)

    Viola comes across as well mannered and is seen by Olivia as good looking.

    ‘A lady, sir, though it was said she much resembled me, was yet of many accounted beautiful…she bore a mind that envy could not but call fair’ (Sebastian, 2:1)

    Viola looks like Sebastian and is generally regarded as beautiful both for her looks and her mind.

  • Olivia

    Countess Olivia is a wealthy woman of high social status. She is in mourning for her father and brother who have both died within the last year. Without any close family, she is in charge of her household and can decide for herself who she marries. She rejects messages of love from Duke Orsino and instead falls in love with his servant Cesario, not knowing that Cesario is Viola in disguise as a young man. Her only family is Sir Toby Belch, who is often drunk and she does not have much respect for him.

    Facts we learn about Olivia at the start of the play:

    • She is a wealthy heiress whose father and brother have died in the last year.
    • She does not love Orsino.
    • She trusts her steward Malvolio and her maid Maria and is fond of her jester Feste.
    • She has little respect for Sir Toby Belch or his friend Sir Andrew.
    • She is very attracted to Cesario.

    Things they say:

    ‘Even so quickly may one catch the plague? / Methinks I feel this youth’s perfections / With an invisible and subtle stealth / To creep in at mine eyes.’ (Olivia, 1:5)

    Olivia falls in love with 'Cesario' very quickly.

    ‘Still so constant, lord’ (Olivia, 5:1)

    Olivia is constant and honest, never implying she likes Orsino.

    Things others say about them:

    ‘A virtuous maid, the daughter of a count / That died some twelvemonth since, then leaving her / In the protection of his son, her brother, / Who shortly also died, for whose dear love, they say, she hath abjured the company and sight of men.’ (Captain, 1:3)

    Olivia is in mourning and is not interested in a relationship.

    ‘She’ll none o’th’count. She’ll not match above her degree, neither in estate, years, nor wit; I have heard her swear’t.’ (Toby, 1:3)

    Olivia does not want to marry someone more intelligent or important than her.

    ‘I see you what you are, you are too proud. / But if you were the devil, you are fair.’ (Viola, 1:5)

    Olivia is very beautiful but is also proud, something Viola recognises in her.

  • Orsino

    Duke Orsino is a wealthy man who governs the country of Illyria. He is in love with his neighbour, the Countess Olivia and sends messages of love to her, refusing to be put off by her answers that she is in mourning for the loss of her father and brother and is not interested in him. Orsino enjoys music and quickly becomes fond of his new servant Cesario.

      Facts we learn about Orsino:

    • He governs Illyria.
    • He wants to marry Olivia.
    • He enjoys listening to music.

    Things they say:

    ‘I myself am best / When least in company.’ (Orsino, 1:5)

    Orsino likes to be alone

    ‘Tell her my love, more noble than the world, / Prizes not quantity of dirty lands. / The parts that fortune hath bestowed upon her, / Tell her I hold as giddily as fortune.’ (Orsino, 2:4)

    Orsino wants to make very clear that he loves Olivia for herself and not for her wealth.

    ‘But this your minion, whom I know you love, / And whom, by heaven, I swear I tender dearly, / Him will I tear out of that cruel eye, / Where he sits crowned in his master’s spite.’ (Orsino, 5:1)

    Orsino comes across as dramatic, suggesting he will hurt Cesario because Olivia loves him.

    Things others say about them:

    ‘A noble duke in nature as in name.’ (Captain, Act 1, Scene 2)

    Orsino is viewed as a good man by the Captain, a visitor to Illyria.

    ‘Your lord does know my mind: I cannot love him. / Yet I suppose him virtuous, know him noble, / Of great estate, of fresh and stainless youth; / In voices well divulged, free, learned, and valiant, / And in dimension and the shape of nature, / A gracious person. But yet I cannot love him.’ (Olivia, 1:5)

    Orsino is seen as a virtuous, good looking, and accomplished man, even by Olivia who does not love him.

  • Sir Toby Belch

    Sir Toby Belch is related to Olivia and lives in her house. He spends a lot of his time drunk and Olivia has little respect for him. Sir Toby has invited his friend Sir Andrew to stay and encourages Sir Andrew to think that Olivia wants to marry him. Sir Toby knows Olivia has no interest in Sir Andrew but the deception allows him to con money from Sir Andrew. Sir Toby resents being reprimanded for his drunken behaviour by Malvolio and, with Maria’s help, plays a cruel trick on Malvolio.

    Facts we learn about Sir Toby:

    • He is related to Olivia. He refers to her as his niece.
    • He is often drunk and disorderly.
    • He encourages Sir Andrew to believe he has a chance of marrying Olivia.
    • He gets on well with Maria.
    • He does not get on with Malvolio.

    Things they say:

    ‘I could marry this wench for this device…And ask no other dowry with her but such another jest.’ (Sir Toby, 2:5)

    Sir Toby likes Maria and enjoys playing jokes with her.

    Fabian: This is a dear manikin to you, Sir Toby.

    Sir Toby: I have been dear to him, lad, some two thousand strong or so. (Act 3, Scene 2)

    Sir Toby enjoys treating Sir Andrew like his puppet and getting money out of him.

    ‘My niece is already in the belief that he’s mad. We may carry it thus for our pleasure and his penance, till our very pastime, tired out of breath, prompt us to have mercy on him.’ (Sir Toby, 3:4)

    Sir Toby enjoys making fun out of Malvolio as punishment.

    Things others say about them:

    ‘By my troth, Sir Toby, you must come in earlier a-nights: your cousin, my lady, takes great exception to your ill hours’ (Maria, 1:3)

    Sir Toby is often drunk and stays up late, creating noise and disturbances.

    ‘Will it be ever thus? Ungracious wretch, / Fir for the mountains and the barbarous caves, / Where manners ne’er were preached! Out of my sight!’ (Olivia, 4:1)

    Sir Toby is bad mannered and Olivia is losing patience with him.

  • Malvolio

    Malvolio runs Olivia’s household as her senior servant, her steward. Malvolio, however, secretly hopes to improve his social position and one day rule the household as Olivia’s husband. Malvolio insults several characters in the play, including Sir Toby , Feste and Maria who get their revenge by playing a trick to make him think Olivia loves him. They then lock him up in a dark room as a madman.

      Facts we learn about Malvolio:

    • Olivia trusts and respects him as her steward.
    • He dreams of marrying Olivia.
    • He is disliked by others of Olivia’s household.

    Things they say:

    ‘To be Count Malvolio!’ (Malvolio, 2:5)

    Malvolio believes that he has a chance of marrying Olivia.

    ‘I say there was never man thus abused. I am no more mad than you are’. (Malvolio, 4:2)

    Malvolio believes he has been treated very badly at the end of the play.

    Things others say about them:

    ‘O, you are sick of self-love, Malvolio, and taste with a distempered appetite. To be generous, guiltless, and of free disposition is to take those things for bird-bolts that you deem cannon-bullets.’ (Olivia, 1:5)

    Olivia respects Malvolio as her servant but is critical of how he is with others.

    ‘The devil a Puritan that he is, or anything constantly but a time-pleaser, an affectioned ass, that cons state without book and utters it by great swaths. The best persuaded of himself, so crammed, as he thinks, with excellences, that it is his grounds of faith that all that look on him love him’ (Maria, 2:3)

    Maria describes Malvolio as a man who thinks far too much of himself and how important he is.

    ‘Let some of my people have a special care of him. I would not have him miscarry for the half of my dowry.’ (Olivia, 3:4)

    Malvolio’s strange behaviour in the play is very out of character and Olivia wants him to be normal again.

  • Sir Andrew

    Sir Andrew is visiting his friend Sir Toby and staying in Olivia’s house. Sir Andrew believes that Sir Toby is helping him in his bid to marry Olivia but Sir Toby is taking money from Sir Andrew and using him for entertainment. Sir Andrew is generally regarded as foolish.

      Facts we learn about Sir Andrew:

    • He hopes to marry Olivia.
    • He believes Sir Toby is his friend and is helping him to get the attention of Olivia.
    • He enjoys drinking and dancing.

    Things they say:

    ‘I would I had bestowed that time in the tongues that I have in fencing, dancing, and bear-baiting.’ (Sir Andrew, 1:3)

    Sir Andrew is supposed to be educated but admits he spends more time having fun.

    ‘I’ll stay a month longer. I am a fellow o’th’strangest mind I’th’world: I delight in masques and revels sometimes altogether.’ (Sir Andrew, 1:3)

    Sir Andrew enjoys entertainments, parties and dancing and is easily convinced by Sir Toby to stay.

    ‘If I cannot recover your niece, I am a foul way out’ (Sir Andrew, 2:3)

    Sir Andrew has wasted a lot of his money in the hopes of marrying Olivia and gaining control of her fortune.

    Things others say about them:

    ‘He’s a very fool and a prodigal’ (Maria, 1:3)

    Maria has a low opinion of Sir Andrew.

    ‘For Andrew, if he were opened and you find so much blood in his liver as will clog the foot of a flea, I’ll eat the rest of th’anatomy.’ (Sir Toby, 3:2)

    Sir Toby believes that Sir Andrew is a coward who will not want to fight.

    ‘An ass-head and a coxcomb and a knave, a thin faced knave, a gull.’ (Sir Toby, 5:1)

    Sir Andrew is very gullible and Sir Toby tells him this later in the play.

  • Maria

    Maria is Olivia’s maid. She gets on well with Sir Toby and plans a clever trick against Malvolio which helps Sir Toby get revenge on Malvolio for insulting him. Maria also gets on well with Feste.

      Facts we learn about Maria:

    • She is witty.
    • She wants to please Sir Toby.
    • She dislikes Malvolio.
    • She can imitate Olivia’s handwriting.

    Things they say:

    ‘For Monsieur Malvolio, let me alone with him. If I do not gull him into a nayword and make him a common recreation, do not think I have wit enough to lie straight in my bed. I know I can do it.’ (Maria, 2:3)

    Maria is confident that she can trick Malvolio and make him look a fool for everyone to laugh at.

    Things others say about them:

    ‘If Sir Toby would leave drinking, thou wert as witty a piece of Eve’s flesh as any in Illyria’ (Feste, 1:5)

    Maria is quick witted, according to Feste who also suggests she might be a good match for Sir Toby.

    ‘She’s a beagle, true-bred and one that adores me.’ (Sir Toby, Act 2, Scene 4)

    Maria likes Sir Toby and is sharp minded.

    ‘out of question ‘tis Maria’s hand. / And now I do bethink me, it was she / First told me thou wast mad. (Olivia, 5:1)

    Maria knows Olivia well enough to forge her handwriting and masterminds the plot against Malvolio.

  • Feste

    Feste is a jester who used to work for Olivia’s father. He has returned to Olivia’s house after some time away and, although she is at first angry with him for his absence, she soon forgives him and is pleased to see him. Feste makes a living as a musician and from his witty remarks for both of which he receives money from characters of a higher social position. He seems to be based in Olivia’s house but also sings for Orsino.

      Facts we learn about Feste:

    • He has returned to Olivia’s house after some time away.
    • He is an accomplished singer and is very witty.
    • Malvolio does not approve of him but he seems generally well liked by the other characters.

    Things they say:

    ‘I wear not motley in my brain’ (Feste, 1:5)

    Feste is not foolish, even if other people look at him and see a ‘fool’.

    ‘No pains, sir, I take pleasure in singing, sir.’ (Feste, 2:4)

    Feste seems respectful towards Orsino and says that he enjoys singing.

    Things others say about them:

    ‘There is no slander in an allowed fool’ (Olivia, 1:5)

    Feste can do very little wrong in Olivia’s eyes.

    ‘By my troth, the fool has an excellent breast. I had rather than forty shillings I had such a leg, and so sweet a breath to sing as the fool has. (Sir Andrew, 2:3)

    Feste is a skilled singer and performer.

    ‘This fellow is wise enough to play the fool, / And to do that well, craves a kind of wit.’ (Viola, 3:1)

    Feste has great skill with words, and impresses Viola.

  • Sebastian

    Sebastian is Viola’s twin brother, separated from her during the shipwreck which happens before the play begins. Sebastian was rescued by a sea captain called Antonio. After three months with Antonio, Sebastian decides to set out to the court of Orsino. Once in Illyria, Sebastian is mistaken for ‘Cesario’ (Viola disguised as a boy) by Feste, Sir Toby, Sir Andrew and Olivia. Olivia is delighted when ‘Cesario’ seems to change his mind and agree to marry her.

      Facts we learn about Sebastian:

    • He is Viola’s twin brother.
    • He was rescued from drowning by Antonio.
    • He is presumed by all the characters he meets in Illyria to be Cesario.

    Things they say:

    ‘my stars shine darkly over me’ (Sebastian, 2:1)

    Sebastian believes he is going through a period of bad luck.

    ‘My father was that Sebastian of Messaline whom I know you have heard of. He left behind him myself and a sister, both born in an hour’ (Sebastian, 2:1)

    Sebastian’s father was well known in the region. He died leaving behind him Sebastian and his twin sister.

    ‘I’ll follow this good man and go with you, / And having sworn truth, ever will be true.’ (Sebastian, 4:3)

    Sebastian is enchanted by Olivia’s attention and love towards him and agrees to marry her.

    Things others say about them:

    ‘I saw your brother, / Most provident in peril, bind himself - / Courage and hope both teaching him the practice - / To a strong mast that lived upon the sea’ (Captain, 1:2)

    The Captain saw Sebastian tie himself to a wooden mast that was floating in the sea in the hope of surviving the storm.

    ‘A wreck past hope he was. / His life I gave him’ (Antonio, 5:1)

    Sebastian would have drowned after the shipwreck, if Antonio had not rescued him.

  • Antonio

    Antonio found Sebastian half drowned on the shore and rescued him. He quickly grows fond of Sebastian and stays with him, even following him to Illyria despite how dangerous this might be for him. Antonio was once in a sea battle against Orsino’s ships and knows he could be arrested for piracy if he is caught in Illyria.

      Facts we learn about Antonio:

    • He is a sea captain.
    • He rescued Sebastian from drowning and has been with him for the three months since then.
    • He once attacked Orsino’s ships and is in danger if he is recognised in Illyria.

    Things they say:

    ‘I have many enemies in Orsino’s court, / Else would I very shortly see thee there. / But come what may, I do adore thee so, / That danger shall seem sport and I will go.’ (Antonio, 2:1)

    Antonio knows that he will face trouble if he follows Sebastian to Illyria, but his attachment to Sebastian is so strong, he decides to go anyway.

    ‘This youth that you see here / I snatched one half out of the jaws of death, / Relieved him with such sanctity of love, / And to his image, which methought did promise / Most venerable worth, did I devotion.’ (Antonio, 3:4)

    Antonio rescued Sebastian from drowning and looked after him. The language he uses about his devotion to Sebastian uses religious imagery.

    Things others say about them:

    ‘His counsel now might do me golden service’ (Sebastian, 4:3)

    When Sebastian is confused by Olivia’s advances he says he would value the advice of his friend.

    ‘He did me kindness, sir, drew on my side, / But in conclusion, put strange speech upon me. / I know not what ‘twas but distraction.’ (Viola, 5:1)

    Viola speaks up about Antonio’s kindness in defending her but says that what Antonio said to her made no sense.

    Notable pirate, thou salt-water thief, / What foolish boldness brought thee to their mercies, / Whom thou in terms so bloody and so dear / Hast made thine enemies?’ (Orsino, 5:1)

    Orsino is very clear that he thinks Antonio stole from his ships and behaved in a violent way that makes him an enemy to Illyria.

Explore their relationships

Viola

  • Viola - Orsino

    When Viola goes to work for Orsino as ‘Cesario’, Orsino quickly grows to trust her and enjoy her company. She quickly falls in love with him.

    ‘Thou know’st no less but all. I have unclasped / To thee the book even of my secret soul’ (Orsino, 1.4)
    ‘Yet, a barful strife! / Who’er I woo, myself would be his wife’ (Viola, 1.4)

    As Orsino and Viola talk about love, Viola reveals more about how she feels and Orsino seems to become closer to her, still thinking she is Cesario.

    ‘My father had a daughter loved a man, / As it might be perhaps, were I a woman, / I should your lordship.’ (Viola, 2.4)

    Orsino reveals how much he cares about Cesario when talking to Olivia towards the end of the play.

    ‘But this your minion, whom I know you love, / And whom, by heaven, I swear I tender dearly…’ (Orsino, 5.1)

    Orsino wastes no time in asking Viola to marry him as soon as the truth of her identity is revealed.

    ‘Here is my hand. You shall from this time be / Your master’s mistress’ (Orsino, 5.1)

  • Viola - Olivia

    Olivia falls in love with Cesario, not realising that Cesario is Viola in disguise. Viola is in love with Orsino, who is in love with Olivia.

    ‘My master loves her dearly, / And I. poor monster, fond as much on him, / And she, mistaken, seems to dote on me.’ (Viola, 2.2)

    When Olivia realises that she has married Sebastian, who is Viola’s twin brother, she seems happy to accept the situation and Viola is relieved that she no longer has to lie.

    ‘A sister! You are she.’ (Olivia, 5:1)

  • Viola - Sebastian

Olivia

  • Olivia - Orsino

    Orsino declares his love for Olivia at the beginning of the play and continues to pursue her even though she is very clear that she does not love him.

    O, when mine eyes did see Olivia first, / Methought she purged the air of pestilence. / That instant was I turned into a hart, / And my desires, like fell and cruel hounds, / E’er since pursue me.’ (Orsino, 1.1)
    ‘Your lord does know my mind, I cannot love him’ (Olivia, 1.4)

    When the truth is revealed - that ‘Cesario’ is really Viola and has a twin brother called Sebastian - Orsino finally accepts that he will not marry Olivia.

    My lord, so please you, these things further thought on, / To think me as well a sister as a wife’ (Olivia, 5.1)
    ‘Madam, I am most apt t’embrace your offer’ (Orsino, 5.1)

  • Olivia - Viola

    Olivia falls in love with Cesario, not realising that Cesario is Viola in disguise. Viola is in love with Orsino, who is in love with Olivia.

    ‘My master loves her dearly, / And I. poor monster, fond as much on him, / And she, mistaken, seems to dote on me.’ (Viola, 2.2)

    When Olivia realises that she has married Sebastian, who is Viola’s twin brother, she seems happy to accept the situation and Viola is relieved that she no longer has to lie.

    ‘A sister! You are she.’ (Olivia, 5:1)

  • Olivia - Sebastian

    When Olivia meets Sebastian, she thinks he is Cesario and is delighted when he agrees to marry her. Sebastian seems to have no doubts about immediately marrying Olivia.

    ‘I’ll follow this good man and go with you, / And having sworn truth, ever will be true.’ (Olivia, 4:4)

    When Olivia realises that she has married Sebastian instead of ‘Cesario’ she seems happy to accept the situation and Sebastian appears confused but pleased.

    ‘Most wonderful’ (Olivia, 5:1)

  • Olivia - Malvolio

    Malvolio dreams of marrying his mistress Olivia, although she doesn’t think of him as any more than her steward.

    ‘To be Count Malviolio!’ (Malvolio, 2:5)

    Malvolio picks up a letter that he thinks has been written by Olivia (but in fact is a forgery written by Maria). The letter declares Olivia’s love for Malvolio and asks him to wear yellow stockings and to smile to show he loves her back. He does so!

    ‘Why, she may command me! I serve her, she is my lady’ (Malvolio, 2:5)

    When the truth is revealed that Maria and Sir Toby have played a trick on Malvolio and forged the letter, Olivia seems to pity Malvolio, but he is angry with everyone.

    'Alas, poor fool, how have they baffled thee’ (Olivia, 5.1)
    'I’ll be revenged on the whole pack of you!’ (Malvolio, 5.1)

  • Olivia - Sir Andrew

    Sir Andrew wants to marry Olivia . He seems doubtful that she wants to marry him but is persuaded otherwise by Sir Toby. Olivia thinks of him as no more than a foolish friend of Sir Toby’s.

    ‘Faith, I’ll home tomorrow, Sir Toby. Your niece will not be seen, or if she be, it’s four to one she’ll none of me.’ (Sir Andrew, 1:3)

  • Olivia - Sir Toby

  • Olivia - Feste

Orsino

  • Orsino - Olivia

    Orsino declares his love for Olivia at the beginning of the play and continues to pursue her even though she is very clear that she does not love him.

    O, when mine eyes did see Olivia first, / Methought she purged the air of pestilence. / That instant was I turned into a hart, / And my desires, like fell and cruel hounds, / E’er since pursue me.’ (Orsino, 1.1)
    ‘Your lord does know my mind, I cannot love him’ (Olivia, 1.4)

    When the truth is revealed - that ‘Cesario’ is really Viola and has a twin brother called Sebastian - Orsino finally accepts that he will not marry Olivia.

    My lord, so please you, these things further thought on, / To think me as well a sister as a wife’ (Olivia, 5.1)
    ‘Madam, I am most apt t’embrace your offer’ (Orsino, 5.1)

  • Orsino - Viola

    When Viola goes to work for Orsino as ‘Cesario’, Orsino quickly grows to trust her and enjoy her company. She quickly falls in love with him.

    ‘Thou know’st no less but all. I have unclasped / To thee the book even of my secret soul’ (Orsino, 1.4)
    ‘Yet, a barful strife! / Who’er I woo, myself would be his wife’ (Viola, 1.4)

    As Orsino and Viola talk about love, Viola reveals more about how she feels and Orsino seems to become closer to her, still thinking she is Cesario.

    ‘My father had a daughter loved a man, / As it might be perhaps, were I a woman, / I should your lordship.’ (Viola, 2.4)

    Orsino reveals how much he cares about Cesario when talking to Olivia towards the end of the play.

    ‘But this your minion, whom I know you love, / And whom, by heaven, I swear I tender dearly…’ (Orsino, 5.1)

    Orsino wastes no time in asking Viola to marry him as soon as the truth of her identity is revealed.

    ‘Here is my hand. You shall from this time be / Your master’s mistress’ (Orsino, 5.1)

  • Orsino - Antonio

    When Orsino is face to face with Antonio he wonders why Antonio would be so reckless as to come to Illyria.

    ‘What foolish boldness brought thee to their mercies, / Whom thou in terms so bloody and so dear / Hast made thine enemies?’ (Orsino, 5:1)

    The play does not tell us whether Orsino pardons Antonio or not once his connections with Sebastian and Viola/Cesario are revealed.

    In his first scene, Antonio tells us he has ‘enemies in Orsino’s court’ and he later explains to Sebastian that he fought against Orsino’s ships. He knows that if he is arrested, Orsino is unlikely to accept anything other than his life.

    ‘I do not without danger walk these streets. / Once in a sea-fight ‘gainst the Count his galleys, / I did some service, of such note indeed, / That were I ta’en here it would scarce be answered’ (Antonio, 3:3)

Sir Toby Belch

  • Sir Toby - Maria

    Sir Toby and Maria seem to get on well together despite their different social positions. Maria seems to care about him and warns him to avoid getting into trouble with his niece by going to bed earlier.

    ‘By my troth, Sir Toby, you must come in earlier o’nights.’ (Maria, 1:3)

    When Malvolio threatens to get Sir Toby thrown out of Olivia’s house for drunken behaviour, Maria comes up with a plot to pay Malvolio back and save Sir Toby.

    ‘Sweet Sir Toby, be patient for tonight.’ (Maria, 2.3)

    When Maria’s plan to fool Malvolio proves successful, Sir Toby is delighted and full of praise for her.

    ‘I could marry the wench for this device’ (Sir Toby, 2.5)

    At the end of the play, Fabian reveals that Sir Toby has married Maria.

    ‘Maria writ / The letter, at Sir Toby’s great importance, / In recompense whereof he hath married her.’ (Fabian, 5.1)

  • Sir Toby - Sir Andrew

    Sir Andrew thinks of Sir Toby as a friend but Sir Toby is manipulating Sir Andrew, taking money from him and playing tricks on him. Fabian describes Sir Andrew as Sir Toby’s puppet.

    ‘This is a dear manikin to you, Sir Toby.’ (Fabian, 3:2)

  • Sir Toby - Olivia

Malvolio

  • Malvolio - Olivia

    Malvolio dreams of marrying his mistress Olivia, although she doesn’t think of him as any more than her steward.

    ‘To be Count Malviolio!’ (Malvolio, 2:5)

    Malvolio picks up a letter that he thinks has been written by Olivia (but in fact is a forgery written by Maria). The letter declares Olivia’s love for Malvolio and asks him to wear yellow stockings and to smile to show he loves her back. He does so!

    ‘Why, she may command me! I serve her, she is my lady’ (Malvolio, 2:5)

    When the truth is revealed that Maria and Sir Toby have played a trick on Malvolio and forged the letter, Olivia seems to pity Malvolio, but he is angry with everyone.

    ‘Alas, poor fool, how have they baffled thee’ (Olivia, 5.1)
    ‘I’ll be revenged on the whole pack of you!’ (Malvolio, 5.1)

  • Malvolio - Feste

    When Feste returns to Olivia’s court, Malvolio is insulting about his skills as a jester.

    ‘I marvel your ladyship takes delight in such a barren rascal…unless you laugh and minister occasion to him, he is gagged’ (Malvolio, 1:5)

    When Malvolio is locked in a dark room, Feste visits him in disguise as Sir Topas and also as himself. Malvolio pleads with Feste to help him write a letter to Olivia.

    ‘Good fool, some ink and paper, and light, and convey what I will set down to my lady’ (Malvolio, 4:2)

    Feste agrees to help Malvolio but he doesn’t rush to take the letter to Olivia.

    ‘I should have given’t you today morning but as a madman’s epistles are no gospels, so it skills not much when they are delivered.’ (Feste, 5:1)

    When the truth of Maria’s forged letter is revealed, Feste reminds Malvolio how he spoke of him before, and how Feste is now revenged

    ‘But do you remember? “Madam, why laugh you at such a barren rascal. And you smile not, he’s gagged.” Thus the whirligig of time brings in his revenges’ (Feste, 5:1)

  • Malvolio - Maria

    Although Maria tried to tell Sir Toby to be quieter, Malvolio seems to assume she is on Sir Toby’s side and tells her off. She is not happy about this.

    ‘Mistress Mary, if you prized my lady’s favour at anything more than contempt, you would not give means for this uncivil rule. She shall know if it, by this hand’ (Malvolio, 2:3)
    ’Go shake your ears’ (Maria, 2:3)

    Maria gets her own back on Malvolio by setting up the trick to make him wear yellow stockings in the belief that Olivia wants him to. Maria suggests to Olivia that Malvolio has gone mad.

    ‘Your ladyship were best to have some guard about you if he come, for sure the man is tainted in’s wits.’ (Maria, 3:4)

    Olivia tells Malvolio that the letter is not from her, revealing how much power Maria has had to make a fool of Malvolio.

    ‘But out of question ‘tis Maria’s hand, / And now I do bethink me, it was she / First told me thou wast mad.’ (Olivia, 5:1)

Sir Andrew

  • Sir Andrew - Olivia

    Sir Andrew wants to marry Olivia . He seems doubtful that she wants to marry him but is persuaded otherwise by Sir Toby. Olivia thinks of him as no more than a foolish friend of Sir Toby’s.

    ‘Faith, I’ll home tomorrow, Sir Toby. Your niece will not be seen, or if she be, it’s four to one she’ll none of me.’ (Sir Andrew, 1:3)

  • Sir Andrew - Sir Toby

    Sir Andrew thinks of Sir Toby as a friend but Sir Toby is manipulating Sir Andrew, taking money from him and playing tricks on him. Fabian describes Sir Andrew as Sir Toby’s puppet.

    ‘This is a dear manikin to you, Sir Toby.’ (Fabian, 3:2)

Maria

  • Maria - Sir Toby

    Sir Toby and Maria seem to get on well together despite their different social positions. Maria seems to care about him and warns him to avoid getting into trouble with his niece by going to bed earlier.

    ‘By my troth, Sir Toby, you must come in earlier o’nights.’ (Maria, 1:3)

    When Malvolio threatens to get Sir Toby thrown out of Olivia’s house for drunken behaviour, Maria comes up with a plot to pay Malvolio back and save Sir Toby.

    ‘Sweet Sir Toby, be patient for tonight.’ (Maria, 2.3)

    When Maria’s plan to fool Malvolio proves successful, Sir Toby is delighted and full of praise for her.

    ‘I could marry the wench for this device’ (Sir Toby, 2.5)

    At the end of the play, Fabian reveals that Sir Toby has married Maria.

    ‘Maria writ / The letter, at Sir Toby’s great importance, / In recompense whereof he hath married her.’ (Fabian, 5.1)

  • Maria - Malvolio

    Although Maria tried to tell Sir Toby to be quieter, Malvolio seems to assume she is on Sir Toby’s side and tells her off. She is not happy about this.

    ‘Mistress Mary, if you prized my lady’s favour at anything more than contempt, you would not give means for this uncivil rule. She shall know if it, by this hand’ (Malvolio, 2:3)
    ’Go shake your ears’ (Maria, 2:3)

    Maria gets her own back on Malvolio by setting up the trick to make him wear yellow stockings in the belief that Olivia wants him to. Maria suggests to Olivia that Malvolio has gone mad.

    ‘Your ladyship were best to have some guard about you if he come, for sure the man is tainted in’s wits.’ (Maria, 3:4)

    Olivia tells Malvolio that the letter is not from her, revealing how much power Maria has had to make a fool of Malvolio.

    ‘But out of question ‘tis Maria’s hand, / And now I do bethink me, it was she / First told me thou wast mad.’ (Olivia, 5:1)

Feste

  • Feste - Malvolio

    When Feste returns to Olivia’s court, Malvolio is insulting about his skills as a jester.

    ‘I marvel your ladyship takes delight in such a barren rascal…unless you laugh and minister occasion to him, he is gagged’ (Malvolio, 1:5)

    When Malvolio is locked in a dark room, Feste visits him in disguise as Sir Topas and also as himself. Malvolio pleads with Feste to help him write a letter to Olivia.

    ‘Good fool, some ink and paper, and light, and convey what I will set down to my lady’ (Malvolio, 4:2)

    Feste agrees to help Malvolio but he doesn’t rush to take the letter to Olivia.

    ‘I should have given’t you today morning but as a madman’s epistles are no gospels, so it skills not much when they are delivered.’ (Feste, 5:1)

    When the truth of Maria’s forged letter is revealed, Feste reminds Malvolio how he spoke of him before, and how Feste is now revenged

    ‘But do you remember? “Madam, why laugh you at such a barren rascal. And you smile not, he’s gagged.” Thus the whirligig of time brings in his revenges’ (Feste, 5:1)

  • Feste - Olivia

Sebastian

  • Sebastian - Olivia

    When Olivia meets Sebastian, she thinks he is Cesario and is delighted when he agrees to marry her. Sebastian seems to have no doubts about immediately marrying Olivia.

    ‘I’ll follow this good man and go with you, / And having sworn truth, ever will be true.’ (Olivia, 4:4)

    When Olivia realises that she has married Sebastian instead of ‘Cesario’ she seems happy to accept the situation and Sebastian appears confused but pleased.

    ‘Most wonderful’ (Olivia, 5:1)

  • Sebastian - Antonio

    Antonio and Sebastian seem to have become very close during the three months they spend together before we meet them in the play. When Sebastian decides to travel on to Illyria, Antonio’s love makes him follows after Sebastian despite the danger to himself.

    ‘I have many enemies in Orsino’s court, / Else would I very shortly see thee there. / But come what may, I do adore thee so, / That danger shall seem sport, and I will go.’ (Antonio, 2:1)

    Antonio intervenes in a street fight involving a ‘man’ he thinks is Sebastian but who is actually Viola. Antonio begs ‘him’ for help after he is arrested. ‘Cesario’ denies any knowledge of him and Antonio is led away to prison.

    ‘Do you deny me now?’ (Antonio, 3:4)

    Sebastian is clearly fond of Antonio but does not talk of him in the same terms of love and adoration. In the last scene of the play, it is up to the director what happens to Antonio. Is he led away to jail, or released? Is he pleased to see Sebastian marry Olivia or is he jealous?

    ‘Antonio, O my dear Antonio! / How have the hours racked and tortured me, / Since I have lost thee!’ (Sebastian, 5:1)

  • Sebastian - Viola

Antonio

  • Antonio - Sebastian

    Antonio and Sebastian seem to have become very close during the three months they spend together before we meet them in the play. When Sebastian decides to travel on to Illyria, Antonio’s love makes him follows after Sebastian despite the danger to himself.

    ‘I have many enemies in Orsino’s court, / Else would I very shortly see thee there. / But come what may, I do adore thee so, / That danger shall seem sport, and I will go.’ (Antonio, 2:1)

    Antonio intervenes in a street fight involving a ‘man’ he thinks is Sebastian but who is actually Viola. Antonio begs ‘him’ for help after he is arrested. ‘Cesario’ denies any knowledge of him and Antonio is led away to prison.

    ‘Do you deny me now?’ (Antonio, 3:4)

    Sebastian is clearly fond of Antonio but does not talk of him in the same terms of love and adoration. In the last scene of the play, it is up to the director what happens to Antonio. Is he led away to jail, or released? Is he pleased to see Sebastian marry Olivia or is he jealous?

    ‘Antonio, O my dear Antonio! / How have the hours racked and tortured me, / Since I have lost thee!’ (Sebastian, 5:1)

  • Antonio - Orsino

    When Orsino is face to face with Antonio he wonders why Antonio would be so reckless as to come to Illyria.

    ‘What foolish boldness brought thee to their mercies, / Whom thou in terms so bloody and so dear / Hast made thine enemies?’ (Orsino, 5:1)

    The play does not tell us whether Orsino pardons Antonio or not once his connections with Sebastian and Viola/Cesario are revealed.

    In his first scene, Antonio tells us he has ‘enemies in Orsino’s court’ and he later explains to Sebastian that he fought against Orsino’s ships. He knows that if he is arrested, Orsino is unlikely to accept anything other than his life.

    ‘I do not without danger walk these streets. / Once in a sea-fight ‘gainst the Count his galleys, / I did some service, of such note indeed, / That were I ta’en here it would scarce be answered’ (Antonio, 3:3)

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