If music be the food of love, play on,
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
That strain again! It had a dying fall.
O, it came o’er my ear like the sweet sound
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odour. Enough, no more!
’Tis not so sweet now as it was before.
O spirit of love, how quick and fresh art thou,
That, notwithstanding thy capacity
Receiveth as the sea, naught enters there,
Of what validity and pitch soe’er,
But falls into abatement and low price
So full of shapes is fancy
That it alone is high fantastical.
Give me so much of it that by overindulging, my appetite goes away.
The strain of music sounds like the final phrase.
Nothing can beat love for creating ideas and fantasies.
Will you go hunt, my lord?
Why, so I do, the noblest that I have.
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 puns on the word ‘hart’ meaning deer to mean ‘heart’ as in his feelings for Olivia. What impression of Orsino do you get from how he uses Curio’s suggestion to go hunting to talk more about his feelings for Olivia?
Enter ORSINO’S MANSERVANT.
How now! What news from her?
So please my lord, I might not be admitted,
But from her handmaid do return this answer:
The element itself, till seven years’ heat,
Shall not behold her face at ample view,
But like a cloistress she will veilèd walk,
And water once a day her chamber round
With eye-offending brine .
All this to season
A brother’s dead love, which she would keep fresh
And lasting, in her sad remembrance.
O, she that hath a heart of that fine frame
To pay this debt of love but to a brother –
How will she love, when the rich golden shaft
Hath killed the flock of all affections else
That live in her; when liver, brain and heart,
Those sovereign thrones, are all supplied and filled –
Her sweet perfections – with one self king!
Away before me to sweet beds of flowers!
What does Orsino’s response to Olivia’s message suggest about him?
Cupid’s arrow that will make her fall in love.
When Olivia’s perfect qualities - including her liver, brain and heart, which are the seats or thrones of sexual passion, intellect, and emotion - are all filled up by her love for the same ruler (by which Orsino means himself).
(Text edited for rehearsal by Christopher Luscombe)