"Twelft Night" or What you Will"
(by W. Shakespeare)
Sebastian and his sister Viola were twins. The two were shipwrecked on the coast of Illyria, as they were making a sea-voyage together. A very small number of the ship's company escaped. Also Viola and Sebastian were saved, but each of them thought that the other one was dead.
The captain told Viola that Illyria was governed by Orsino, a duke, noble in nature as well as dignity. Orsino was in love with Olivia, a virtuous maid and daughter of a count who had died twelve months ago. He left Olivia to the protection of her brother, who shortly after died also. She was so much in mourning for her brother that she detested the sight and company of men.
As it was difficult for Viola to live alone as a girl, she decided to dress like a gentleman: after that she looked exactly like her twin brother Sebastian.She got presented to Orsino under the fake name of Cesario. Orsino made Cesario one of his confidantes. The duke sent Cesario to Olivia to bring his message of love to her. So Viola said to the maid, My lord and master loves you. Olivia answered, I cannot love him. Go to your master, and tell him, I cannot love him. Let him send no more unless perchance. So Cesario went to his master to tell him what the lady had told him. A few minutes later, Cesario was just on his way back, Olivia´s steward called Malvolio was behind him and gave him a ring from his countess. Cesario was very astonished at that present he got but presently guessed that his master´s mistress had fallen in love with him as he had in Orsino.
Cesario returned to his master´s palace to repeat the comment of Olivia, but the duke was extremely stubborn and so Viola had to go to her again the next day. The same thing happened again as the day before. Olivia told Cesario her love in a very lovely way. Cesario, by the roses of the spring, by maidhood, honour, and by truth, I love you so, that , in spite of your pride, I have neither wit nor reason to conceal my passion. Viola didn´t know what to do and left the house as far as she could. Outside a rejected suitor of Olivia, who was in love with her, challenged him to fight a duel. The poor Viola, still dressed like man, was shocked and tried to handle the fight. Suddenly a man jumped into the duel and fought for her.
It was no other than Antonio, the best friend of Sebastian, her twin brother. Sebastian and he had landed together on the Island, so when Antonio saw Viola, he thought that she was his friend Sebastian. Viola went home as fast as she could. while she was on her way to Orsino´s palace, Sebastian went to Olivias´s house where he was mistaken by Olivia for his sister Viola=Cesario. In contrast to his sister Sebastian was thrilled by Olivia´s love and agreed to marry her then and there. After the wedding Sebastian had to leave his wife for a while. Afterwards Olivia went to Orsino to meet her husband but that time it was Viola again, who was dressed like Sebastian, who she spoke to. In vain, Viola=Cesario protested that she was not married to Olivia. Suddenly another Cesario entered, and addressed Olivia as his wife. This new Cesario was Sebastian, the real husband of Olivia. Viola and Sebastian saw each other and were so happy to see the other one alive. When all the errors were cleared up the hopes of Orsino were for ever at an end by this marriage of Olivia. When Orsino saw Cesario now as the fair lady Viola, he realized that he had always felt a certain love for Cesario and so asked her to marry him. Sebastian, her twin brother was happy as well as the husband of the rich and noble countess, Lady Olivia.
copyright by Veronica H.
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