Skip to content

Act 2

Act 2

Act 2, Scene 1Page 21


Scene 1

Enter Antonio and Sebastian.

ANTONIO Will you stay no longer? Nor will you not that
I go with you?
SEBASTIAN By your patience, no. My stars shine darkly
over me. The malignancy of my fate might perhaps
5 distemper yours. Therefore I shall crave of you your
leave that I may bear my evils alone. It were a bad
recompense for your love to lay any of them on you.
ANTONIO Let me yet know of you whither you are
SEBASTIAN 10No, sooth, sir. My determinate voyage is
mere extravagancy. But I perceive in you so excellent
a touch of modesty that you will not extort
from me what I am willing to keep in. Therefore it
charges me in manners the rather to express myself.
15 You must know of me, then, Antonio, my name
is Sebastian, which I called Roderigo. 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. If the heavens had been
20 pleased, would we had so ended! But you, sir,
altered that, for some hour before you took me
from the breach of the sea was my sister drowned.
ANTONIO Alas the day!

Act 2, Scene 1Page 22


SEBASTIAN A lady, sir, though it was said she much
25 resembled me, was yet of many accounted beautiful.
But though I could not with such estimable
wonder overfar believe that, yet thus far I will boldly
publish her: she bore a mind that envy could not but
call fair. She is drowned already, sir, with salt water,
30 though I seem to drown her remembrance again
with more.
ANTONIO Pardon me, sir, your bad entertainment.
SEBASTIAN O good Antonio, forgive me your trouble.
ANTONIO If you will not murder me for my love, let me
35 be your servant.
SEBASTIAN If you will not undo what you have done—
that is, kill him whom you have recovered—desire
it not. Fare you well at once. My bosom is full of
kindness, and I am yet so near the manners of my
40 mother that, upon the least occasion more, mine
eyes will tell tales of me. I am bound to the Count
Orsino’s court. Farewell. He exits.
The gentleness of all the gods go with thee!
I have many enemies in Orsino’s court,
45 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.
He exits.


Scene 2

Enter Viola and Malvolio, at several doors.

MALVOLIO Were not you even now with the Countess
VIOLA Even now, sir. On a moderate pace I have since
arrived but hither.
MALVOLIO 5She returns this ring to you, sir. You might

Act 2, Scene 2Page 23


have saved me my pains to have taken it away
yourself. She adds, moreover, that you should put
your lord into a desperate assurance she will none
of him. And one thing more, that you be never so
10 hardy to come again in his affairs unless it be to
report your lord’s taking of this. Receive it so.
VIOLA She took the ring of me. I’ll none of it.
MALVOLIO Come, sir, you peevishly threw it to her, and
her will is it should be so returned. He throws
down the ring.
15If it be worth stooping for, there it

lies in your eye; if not, be it his that finds it.
He exits.
I left no ring with her. What means this lady?
She picks up the ring.
Fortune forbid my outside have not charmed her!
She made good view of me, indeed so much
20 That methought her eyes had lost her tongue,
For she did speak in starts distractedly.
She loves me, sure! The cunning of her passion
Invites me in this churlish messenger.
None of my lord’s ring? Why, he sent her none!
25 I am the man. If it be so, as ’tis,
Poor lady, she were better love a dream.
Disguise, I see thou art a wickedness
Wherein the pregnant enemy does much.
How easy is it for the proper false
30 In women’s waxen hearts to set their forms!
Alas, our frailty is the cause, not we,
For such as we are made of, such we be.
How will this fadge? My master loves her dearly,
And I, poor monster, fond as much on him,
35 And she, mistaken, seems to dote on me.
What will become of this? As I am man,
My state is desperate for my master’s love.
As I am woman (now, alas the day!),

Act 2, Scene 3Page 24


What thriftless sighs shall poor Olivia breathe!
40 O Time, thou must untangle this, not I.
It is too hard a knot for me t’ untie.
She exits.


Scene 3

Enter Sir Toby and Sir Andrew.

TOBY Approach, Sir Andrew. Not to be abed after
midnight is to be up betimes, and “diluculo surgere,”
thou know’st—
ANDREW Nay, by my troth, I know not. But I know to
5 be up late is to be up late.
TOBY A false conclusion. I hate it as an unfilled can. To
be up after midnight and to go to bed then, is early,
so that to go to bed after midnight is to go to bed
betimes. Does not our lives consist of the four
10 elements?
ANDREW Faith, so they say, but I think it rather consists
of eating and drinking.
TOBY Thou ’rt a scholar. Let us therefore eat and
drink. Marian, I say, a stoup of wine!

Enter Feste, the Fool.

ANDREW 15Here comes the Fool, i’ faith.
FOOL How now, my hearts? Did you never see the
picture of We Three?
TOBY Welcome, ass! Now let’s have a catch.
ANDREW By my troth, the Fool has an excellent breast.
20 I had rather than forty shillings I had such a leg,
and so sweet a breath to sing, as the Fool has.—In
sooth, thou wast in very gracious fooling last night
when thou spok’st of Pigrogromitus of the Vapians
passing the equinoctial of Queubus. ’Twas very
Page 25 good, i’ faith. I sent thee sixpence for thy leman.
Hadst it?

Act 2, Scene 3Page 25


FOOL I did impeticos thy gratillity, for Malvolio’s nose
is no whipstock, my lady has a white hand, and the
Myrmidons are no bottle-ale houses.
ANDREW 30Excellent! Why, this is the best fooling when
all is done. Now, a song!
TOBY , giving money to the Fool Come on, there is
sixpence for you. Let’s have a song.
ANDREW , giving money to the Fool There’s a testril of
35 me, too. If one knight give a—
FOOL Would you have a love song or a song of good
TOBY A love song, a love song.
ANDREW Ay, ay, I care not for good life.
FOOL sings
40 O mistress mine, where are you roaming?
O, stay and hear! Your truelove’s coming,
That can sing both high and low.
Trip no further, pretty sweeting.
Journeys end in lovers meeting,
45 Every wise man’s son doth know.

ANDREW Excellent good, i’ faith!
TOBY Good, good.
FOOL sings
What is love? ’Tis not hereafter.
Present mirth hath present laughter.
50 What’s to come is still unsure.
In delay there lies no plenty,
Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty.
Youth’s a stuff will not endure.

ANDREW A mellifluous voice, as I am true knight.
TOBY 55A contagious breath.
ANDREW Very sweet and contagious, i’ faith.
TOBY To hear by the nose, it is dulcet in contagion.
But shall we make the welkin dance indeed? Shall
we rouse the night owl in a catch that will draw
60 three souls out of one weaver? Shall we do that?

Act 2, Scene 3Page 26


ANDREW An you love me, let’s do ’t. I am dog at a
FOOL By ’r Lady, sir, and some dogs will catch well.
ANDREW Most certain. Let our catch be “Thou
65 Knave.”
FOOL “Hold thy peace, thou knave,” knight? I shall be
constrained in ’t to call thee “knave,” knight.
ANDREW ’Tis not the first time I have constrained one
to call me “knave.” Begin, Fool. It begins “Hold
70 thy peace.”
FOOL I shall never begin if I hold my peace.
ANDREW Good, i’ faith. Come, begin. Catch sung.

Enter Maria.

MARIA What a caterwauling do you keep here! If my
lady have not called up her steward Malvolio and
75 bid him turn you out of doors, never trust me.
TOBY My lady’s a Cataian, we are politicians, Malvolio’s
a Peg-a-Ramsey, and Sings. Three merry men be
Am not I consanguineous? Am I not of her

blood? Tillyvally! “Lady”! Sings. There dwelt a man
80 in Babylon, lady, lady.

FOOL Beshrew me, the knight’s in admirable fooling.
ANDREW Ay, he does well enough if he be disposed,
and so do I, too. He does it with a better grace, but
I do it more natural.
TOBY sings 85 O’ the twelfth day of December
MARIA For the love o’ God, peace!

Enter Malvolio.

MALVOLIO My masters, are you mad? Or what are you?
Have you no wit, manners, nor honesty but to
gabble like tinkers at this time of night? Do you
90 make an ale-house of my lady’s house, that you
squeak out your coziers’ catches without any mitigation
or remorse of voice? Is there no respect of
place, persons, nor time in you?

Act 2, Scene 3Page 27


TOBY We did keep time, sir, in our catches. Sneck up!
MALVOLIO 95Sir Toby, I must be round with you. My lady
bade me tell you that, though she harbors you as her
kinsman, she’s nothing allied to your disorders. If
you can separate yourself and your misdemeanors,
you are welcome to the house; if not, an it would
100 please you to take leave of her, she is very willing to
bid you farewell.
TOBY sings
Farewell, dear heart, since I must needs be gone.
MARIA Nay, good Sir Toby.
FOOL sings
His eyes do show his days are almost done.
MALVOLIO 105Is ’t even so?
TOBY sings
But I will never die.
FOOL sings
Sir Toby, there you lie.
MALVOLIO This is much credit to you.
TOBY sings
Shall I bid him go?
FOOL sings
110 What an if you do?
TOBY sings
Shall I bid him go, and spare not?
FOOL sings
O no, no, no, no, you dare not.
TOBY Out o’ tune, sir? You lie. Art any more than a
steward? Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous,
115 there shall be no more cakes and ale?
FOOL Yes, by Saint Anne, and ginger shall be hot i’ th’
mouth, too.
TOBY Thou ’rt i’ th’ right.—Go, sir, rub your chain
with crumbs.—A stoup of wine, Maria!
MALVOLIO 120Mistress Mary, if you prized my lady’s favor
at anything more than contempt, you would not give

Act 2, Scene 3Page 28


means for this uncivil rule. She shall know of it, by
this hand. He exits.
MARIA Go shake your ears!
ANDREW 125’Twere as good a deed as to drink when a
man’s a-hungry, to challenge him the field and
then to break promise with him and make a fool of
TOBY Do ’t, knight. I’ll write thee a challenge. Or I’ll
130 deliver thy indignation to him by word of mouth.
MARIA Sweet Sir Toby, be patient for tonight. Since the
youth of the Count’s was today with my lady, she is
much out of quiet. For Monsieur Malvolio, let me
alone with him. If I do not gull him into a nayword
135 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.
TOBY Possess us, possess us, tell us something of him.
MARIA Marry, sir, sometimes he is a kind of puritan.
ANDREW 140O, if I thought that, I’d beat him like a dog!
TOBY What, for being a puritan? Thy exquisite reason,
dear knight?
ANDREW I have no exquisite reason for ’t, but I have
reason good enough.
MARIA 145The 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 excellencies, that it is his grounds
150 of faith that all that look on him love him. And on
that vice in him will my revenge find notable cause
to work.
TOBY What wilt thou do?
MARIA I will drop in his way some obscure epistles of
155 love, wherein by the color of his beard, the shape of
his leg, the manner of his gait, the expressure of his
eye, forehead, and complexion, he shall find himself

Act 2, Scene 3Page 29


most feelingly personated. I can write very like my
lady your niece; on a forgotten matter, we can
160 hardly make distinction of our hands.
TOBY Excellent! I smell a device.
ANDREW I have ’t in my nose, too.
TOBY He shall think, by the letters that thou wilt drop,
that they come from my niece, and that she’s in
165 love with him.
MARIA My purpose is indeed a horse of that color.
ANDREW And your horse now would make him an ass.
MARIA Ass, I doubt not.
ANDREW O, ’twill be admirable!
MARIA 170Sport royal, I warrant you. I know my physic
will work with him. I will plant you two, and let the
Fool make a third, where he shall find the letter.
Observe his construction of it. For this night, to bed,
and dream on the event. Farewell.
TOBY 175Good night, Penthesilea. She exits.
ANDREW Before me, she’s a good wench.
TOBY She’s a beagle true bred, and one that adores
me. What o’ that?
ANDREW I was adored once, too.
TOBY 180Let’s to bed, knight. Thou hadst need send for
more money.
ANDREW If I cannot recover your niece, I am a foul way
TOBY Send for money, knight. If thou hast her not i’
185 th’ end, call me “Cut.”
ANDREW If I do not, never trust me, take it how you
TOBY Come, come, I’ll go burn some sack. ’Tis too
late to go to bed now. Come, knight; come, knight.
They exit.


Act 2, Scene 4Page 30


Scene 4

Enter Orsino, Viola, Curio, and others.

Give me some music. Music plays. Now, good
morrow, friends.—
Now, good Cesario, but that piece of song,
That old and antique song we heard last night.
5 Methought it did relieve my passion much,
More than light airs and recollected terms
Of these most brisk and giddy-pacèd times.
Come, but one verse.
CURIO He is not here, so please your Lordship, that
10 should sing it.
ORSINO Who was it?
CURIO Feste the jester, my lord, a Fool that the Lady
Olivia’s father took much delight in. He is about
the house.
15 Seek him out Curio exits, and play the tune the
while. Music plays.
To Viola. Come hither, boy. If ever thou shalt love,
In the sweet pangs of it remember me,
For such as I am, all true lovers are,
20 Unstaid and skittish in all motions else
Save in the constant image of the creature
That is beloved. How dost thou like this tune?
It gives a very echo to the seat
Where love is throned.
ORSINO 25 Thou dost speak masterly.
My life upon ’t, young though thou art, thine eye
Hath stayed upon some favor that it loves.
Hath it not, boy?
VIOLA A little, by your favor.

Act 2, Scene 4Page 31


30 What kind of woman is ’t?
VIOLA Of your complexion.
She is not worth thee, then. What years, i’ faith?
VIOLA About your years, my lord.
Too old, by heaven. Let still the woman take
35 An elder than herself. So wears she to him;
So sways she level in her husband’s heart.
For, boy, however we do praise ourselves,
Our fancies are more giddy and unfirm,
More longing, wavering, sooner lost and worn,
40 Than women’s are.
VIOLA I think it well, my lord.
Then let thy love be younger than thyself,
Or thy affection cannot hold the bent.
For women are as roses, whose fair flower,
45 Being once displayed, doth fall that very hour.
And so they are. Alas, that they are so,
To die even when they to perfection grow!

Enter Curio and Feste, the Fool.

O, fellow, come, the song we had last night.—
Mark it, Cesario. It is old and plain;
50 The spinsters and the knitters in the sun
And the free maids that weave their thread with
Do use to chant it. It is silly sooth,
And dallies with the innocence of love
55 Like the old age.
FOOL Are you ready, sir?
ORSINO Ay, prithee, sing. Music.

Act 2, Scene 4Page 32


The Song.

Come away, come away, death,
And in sad cypress let me be laid.
60 Fly away, fly away, breath,
I am slain by a fair cruel maid.
My shroud of white, stuck all with yew,
O, prepare it!
My part of death, no one so true
65 Did share it.

Not a flower, not a flower sweet
On my black coffin let there be strown;
Not a friend, not a friend greet
My poor corpse where my bones shall be thrown.
70 A thousand thousand sighs to save,
Lay me, O, where
Sad true lover never find my grave
To weep there.
ORSINO , giving money There’s for thy pains.
FOOL 75No pains, sir. I take pleasure in singing, sir.
ORSINO I’ll pay thy pleasure, then.
FOOL Truly sir, and pleasure will be paid, one time or
ORSINO Give me now leave to leave thee.
FOOL 80Now the melancholy god protect thee and the
tailor make thy doublet of changeable taffeta, for thy
mind is a very opal. I would have men of such
constancy put to sea, that their business might be
everything and their intent everywhere, for that’s it
85 that always makes a good voyage of nothing.
Farewell. He exits.
Let all the rest give place.
All but Orsino and Viola exit.
Once more, Cesario,

Act 2, Scene 4Page 33


Get thee to yond same sovereign cruelty.
90 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.
But ’tis that miracle and queen of gems
95 That nature pranks her in attracts my soul.
VIOLA But if she cannot love you, sir—
I cannot be so answered.
VIOLA Sooth, but you must.
Say that some lady, as perhaps there is,
100 Hath for your love as great a pang of heart
As you have for Olivia. You cannot love her;
You tell her so. Must she not then be answered?
ORSINO There is no woman’s sides
Can bide the beating of so strong a passion
105 As love doth give my heart; no woman’s heart
So big, to hold so much; they lack retention.
Alas, their love may be called appetite,
No motion of the liver but the palate,
That suffer surfeit, cloyment, and revolt;
110 But mine is all as hungry as the sea,
And can digest as much. Make no compare
Between that love a woman can bear me
And that I owe Olivia.
VIOLA Ay, but I know—
ORSINO 115What dost thou know?
Too well what love women to men may owe.
In faith, they are as true of heart as we.
My father had a daughter loved a man
As it might be, perhaps, were I a woman,
120 I should your Lordship.
ORSINO And what’s her history?

Act 2, Scene 4Page 34


A blank, my lord. She never told her love,
But let concealment, like a worm i’ th’ bud,
Feed on her damask cheek. She pined in thought,
125 And with a green and yellow melancholy
She sat like Patience on a monument,
Smiling at grief. Was not this love indeed?
We men may say more, swear more, but indeed
Our shows are more than will; for still we prove
130 Much in our vows but little in our love.
But died thy sister of her love, my boy?
I am all the daughters of my father’s house,
And all the brothers, too—and yet I know not.
Sir, shall I to this lady?
ORSINO 135 Ay, that’s the theme.
To her in haste. Give her this jewel. Say
My love can give no place, bide no denay.
He hands her a jewel and they exit.


Scene 5

Enter Sir Toby, Sir Andrew, and Fabian.

TOBY Come thy ways, Signior Fabian.
FABIAN Nay, I’ll come. If I lose a scruple of this sport,
let me be boiled to death with melancholy.
TOBY Wouldst thou not be glad to have the niggardly
5 rascally sheep-biter come by some notable shame?
FABIAN I would exult, man. You know he brought me
out o’ favor with my lady about a bearbaiting here.
TOBY To anger him, we’ll have the bear again, and we
will fool him black and blue, shall we not, Sir
10 Andrew?
ANDREW An we do not, it is pity of our lives.

Act 2, Scene 5Page 35


Enter Maria.

TOBY Here comes the little villain.—How now, my
metal of India?
MARIA Get you all three into the boxtree. Malvolio’s
15 coming down this walk. He has been yonder i’ the
sun practicing behavior to his own shadow this half
hour. Observe him, for the love of mockery, for I
know this letter will make a contemplative idiot of
him. Close, in the name of jesting! They hide. Lie
20 thou there putting down the letter, for here comes
the trout that must be caught with tickling.
She exits.

Enter Malvolio.

MALVOLIO ’Tis but fortune, all is fortune. Maria once
told me she did affect me, and I have heard herself
come thus near, that should she fancy, it should be
25 one of my complexion. Besides, she uses me with a
more exalted respect than anyone else that follows
her. What should I think on ’t?
TOBY , aside Here’s an overweening rogue.
FABIAN , aside O, peace! Contemplation makes a rare
30 turkeycock of him. How he jets under his advanced
ANDREW , aside ’Slight, I could so beat the rogue!
TOBY , aside Peace, I say.
MALVOLIO To be Count Malvolio.
TOBY , aside 35Ah, rogue!
ANDREW , aside Pistol him, pistol him!
TOBY , aside Peace, peace!
MALVOLIO There is example for ’t. The lady of the
Strachy married the yeoman of the wardrobe.
ANDREW , aside 40Fie on him, Jezebel!
FABIAN , aside O, peace, now he’s deeply in. Look how
imagination blows him.

Act 2, Scene 5Page 36


MALVOLIO Having been three months married to her,
sitting in my state—
TOBY , aside 45O, for a stone-bow, to hit him in the eye!
MALVOLIO Calling my officers about me, in my
branched velvet gown, having come from a daybed
where I have left Olivia sleeping—
TOBY , aside Fire and brimstone!
FABIAN , aside 50O, peace, peace!
MALVOLIO And then to have the humor of state; and
after a demure travel of regard, telling them I
know my place, as I would they should do theirs, to
ask for my kinsman Toby—
TOBY , aside 55Bolts and shackles!
FABIAN , aside O, peace, peace, peace! Now, now.
MALVOLIO Seven of my people, with an obedient start,
make out for him. I frown the while, and perchance
wind up my watch, or play with my—some
60 rich jewel. Toby approaches; curtsies there to me—
TOBY , aside Shall this fellow live?
FABIAN , aside Though our silence be drawn from us
with cars, yet peace!
MALVOLIO I extend my hand to him thus, quenching
65 my familiar smile with an austere regard of
TOBY , aside And does not Toby take you a blow o’ the
lips then?
MALVOLIO Saying, “Cousin Toby, my fortunes, having
70 cast me on your niece, give me this prerogative of
TOBY , aside What, what?
MALVOLIO “You must amend your drunkenness.”
TOBY , aside Out, scab!
FABIAN , aside 75Nay, patience, or we break the sinews
of our plot!
MALVOLIO “Besides, you waste the treasure of your
time with a foolish knight—”

Act 2, Scene 5Page 37


ANDREW , aside That’s me, I warrant you.
MALVOLIO 80“One Sir Andrew.”
ANDREW , aside I knew ’twas I, for many do call me
MALVOLIO , seeing the letter What employment have
we here?
FABIAN , aside 85Now is the woodcock near the gin.
TOBY , aside O, peace, and the spirit of humors intimate
reading aloud to him.
MALVOLIO , taking up the letter By my life, this is my
lady’s hand! These be her very c’s, her u’s, and her
90 t’s, and thus she makes her great P’s. It is in
contempt of question her hand.
ANDREW , aside Her c’s, her u’s, and her t’s. Why that?
MALVOLIO reads To the unknown beloved, this, and my
good wishes
—Her very phrases! By your leave, wax.

95 Soft. And the impressure her Lucrece, with which
she uses to seal—’tis my lady! He opens the letter.
To whom should this be?
FABIAN , aside This wins him, liver and all.
Jove knows I love,
100 But who?
Lips, do not move;
No man must know.

“No man must know.” What follows? The numbers
altered. “No man must know.” If this should be
105 thee, Malvolio!
TOBY , aside Marry, hang thee, brock!
I may command where I adore,
But silence, like a Lucrece knife,
With bloodless stroke my heart doth gore;
110 M.O.A.I. doth sway my life.

FABIAN , aside A fustian riddle!
TOBY , aside Excellent wench, say I.

Act 2, Scene 5Page 38


MALVOLIO “M.O.A.I. doth sway my life.” Nay, but first
let me see, let me see, let me see.
FABIAN , aside 115What dish o’ poison has she dressed
TOBY , aside And with what wing the staniel checks
at it!
MALVOLIO “I may command where I adore.” Why, she
120 may command me; I serve her; she is my lady. Why,
this is evident to any formal capacity. There is no
obstruction in this. And the end—what should that
alphabetical position portend? If I could make that
resemble something in me! Softly! “M.O.A.I.”—
TOBY , aside 125O, ay, make up that.—He is now at a cold
FABIAN , aside Sowter will cry upon ’t for all this,
though it be as rank as a fox.
MALVOLIO “M”—Malvolio. “M”—why, that begins
130 my name!
FABIAN , aside Did not I say he would work it out? The
cur is excellent at faults.
MALVOLIO “M.” But then there is no consonancy in
the sequel that suffers under probation. “A” should
135 follow, but “O” does.
FABIAN , aside And “O” shall end, I hope.
TOBY , aside Ay, or I’ll cudgel him and make him cry
MALVOLIO And then “I” comes behind.
FABIAN , aside 140Ay, an you had any eye behind you, you
might see more detraction at your heels than fortunes
before you.
MALVOLIO “M.O.A.I.” This simulation is not as the
former, and yet to crush this a little, it would bow
145 to me, for every one of these letters are in my name.
Soft, here follows prose.
He reads. If this fall into thy hand, revolve. In my
stars I am above thee, but be not afraid of greatness.

Page 39


Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and
150 some have greatness thrust upon ’em. Thy fates open
their hands. Let thy blood and spirit embrace them.
And, to inure thyself to what thou art like to be, cast
thy humble slough and appear fresh. Be opposite with
a kinsman, surly with servants. Let thy tongue tang
155 arguments of state. Put thyself into the trick of singularity.
She thus advises thee that sighs for thee.
Remember who commended thy yellow stockings and
wished to see thee ever cross-gartered. I say, remember.
Go to, thou art made, if thou desir’st to be so. If
160 not, let me see thee a steward still, the fellow of
servants, and not worthy to touch Fortune’s fingers.
Farewell. She that would alter services with thee,
The Fortunate-Unhappy.
Daylight and champian discovers not more! This is
165 open. I will be proud, I will read politic authors, I
will baffle Sir Toby, I will wash off gross acquaintance,
I will be point-devise the very man. I do not
now fool myself, to let imagination jade me; for
every reason excites to this, that my lady loves me.
170 She did commend my yellow stockings of late, she
did praise my leg being cross-gartered, and in this
she manifests herself to my love and, with a kind of
injunction, drives me to these habits of her liking. I
thank my stars, I am happy. I will be strange, stout,
175 in yellow stockings, and cross-gartered, even with
the swiftness of putting on. Jove and my stars be
praised! Here is yet a postscript.
He reads. Thou canst not choose but know who I
am. If thou entertain’st my love, let it appear in thy
180 smiling; thy smiles become thee well. Therefore in my
presence still smile, dear my sweet, I prithee.

Jove, I thank thee! I will smile. I will do everything
that thou wilt have me. He exits.

Act 2, Scene 5Page 50


FABIAN I will not give my part of this sport for a
185 pension of thousands to be paid from the Sophy.
TOBY I could marry this wench for this device.
ANDREW So could I too.
TOBY And ask no other dowry with her but such
another jest.
ANDREW 190Nor I neither.

Enter Maria.

FABIAN Here comes my noble gull-catcher.
TOBY Wilt thou set thy foot o’ my neck?
ANDREW Or o’ mine either?
TOBY Shall I play my freedom at tray-trip and become
195 thy bondslave?
ANDREW I’ faith, or I either?
TOBY Why, thou hast put him in such a dream that
when the image of it leaves him he must run mad.
MARIA Nay, but say true, does it work upon him?
TOBY 200Like aqua vitae with a midwife.
MARIA If you will then see the fruits of the sport,
mark his first approach before my lady. He will
come to her in yellow stockings, and ’tis a color
she abhors, and cross-gartered, a fashion she detests;
205 and he will smile upon her, which will now
be so unsuitable to her disposition, being addicted
to a melancholy as she is, that it cannot
but turn him into a notable contempt. If you will
see it, follow me.
TOBY 210To the gates of Tartar, thou most excellent devil
of wit!
ANDREW I’ll make one, too.
They exit.

Surfeiting, v.1

"To indulge in something to satiety or excess; esp. to eat or drink to excess."

Orsino intends to overindulge in music as both a purge and cure for his lovesickness.

"surfeit, v." OED Online. Oxford University Press.

Melanie Lo, 2017

Sport, n.1.a, n.1.c

“Diversion, entertainment, fun. Frequently with modifying an adjective (such as goodgreat, etc.). Now somewhat archaic.”

"Lovemaking, amorous play; (also) sexual intercourse; an instance of this, an amorous exploit. Obsolete."

Shakespeare uses the word “sport” in many other of his plays and it seems the word takes on a different meaning each time. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, “sport” could refer to lovemaking and amorous play, or “sport” could mean an activity that provides amusement and entertainment. Antonio likely means to compare the danger he will face to something that would instead be non-threatening and even a source of amusement, as all risks that he may encounter ultimately pale in comparison to the great amount of love and adoration he feels for Sebastian — enough so that he will follow Sebastian to Orsino’s court. Alternatively, “sport” also refers to amorous play or lovemaking. This usage of the word, which connotes something more sexual, contrasts Antonio’s professed adoration — a more tender and soft word — in the previous line and speaks to his romantic and sexual feelings towards Sebastian. With this version of “sport,” to Antonio, “danger shall seem [like lovemaking],” which signals something harmless or something he would participate in passionately for the sake of remaining by Sebastian’s side.

"sport, n.1.a" OED Online. Oxford University Press, March 2022.

"sport, n.1.c" OED Online. Oxford University Press, March 2022.

Vivian Pham, 2022

Pregnant Enemy

Viola (Cesario) confronts Olivia’s passion for her as Cesario. Presented with a ring from Olivia, delivered by Malvolio, the reality of Viola's strange situation dawns on her. Ephemeral dreams distort the truth. Disguises become “wicked”, not playful, or utilitarian but deceptive. Viola deceives Olivia by presenting herself disguised as Cesario. She had not counted on causing anything harmful or unexpected to occur. However, the “pregnant enemy” uses Viola's deception as an opportunity to create chaos. The “enemy” is “pregnant” with inappropriate, unsuitable, and awkward forms. The devil becomes a “pregnant enemy”, who deceives and creates chaos by using illusion.  According to Samuel Johnson, commenting on Shakespeare, “‘The pregnant enemy’ is, I believe, the dexterous fiend, or enemy of mankind.” By using the term "pregnant", the devil personifies a feminine form or functioning as feminine. Fecundity becomes inverted, no longer life-affirming but an “enemy” force, alien and destructive.

"pregnant, adj.1 and n." OED Online. Oxford University Press.

Johnson, Samuel. Yale Digital Edition of The Works of Samuel Johnson. Yale University. 2014,

Maximilian Valerio, 2021

Fadge, v.1

intransitive. Of things: To fit, suit, be suitable. Const. dative or to. Also, to agree, fit in with (a thing); to agree, go down with (a person). Obsolete

The word “fadge” evokes a sense of palpability and security due to the strong bonds of things that fit well together, like pieces of a puzzle. The secure nature of "fadge" contrasts the images of wax and form in Viola's use of the word. Viola wonders how her love dilemma will “fit”, and how can it “be suitable”. Significantly, Viola begins to ruminate on women’s frailty and susceptibility to the deception of form: “How easy is it for the proper false/In women’s waxen hearts to set their forms! /Alas, our frailty is the cause, not we,/ For such as we are made of, such we be.” (2.2.29-2.2.32) Viola laments that women have “waxen” hearts and therefore are -- impressionable. The false form beguiles the cast, ‘setting’ them into odd shapes based on deception. The love of Olivia for Cesario (Viola) and the love of Viola for Orsino, as well as the love of Orsino for Olivia, does not fit; these passions cannot “fadge”.

"fadge, v." OED Online. Oxford University Press.

Maximilian Valerio, 2021

The word "fadge" first appeared in Schollers Love in Gabriel Harvey’s Letter-book of Gabriel Harvey (1884). Shakespeare may have decided to use the word “fadge" because it refers to things “fitting” or “agreeing". Twelfth Night focuses on people fitting together in absurd ways. The use of the word may also be a reference to the fact that many of these lines are about the ring that Olivia has tried to give Viola as Cesario, and rings “fit” on fingers.

"fadge, v.1." OED Online, Oxford University Press.

Sarah Doughty, 2021

Sweeting, n.1

"A ‘sweet’ or beloved person; dear one, darling, sweetheart. Chiefly as an endearing term of address. archaic."

Feste uses the noun “sweeting” as he sings, referring to “a ‘sweet’ or beloved person.” The archaic “sweeting” derives from “sweet apple”, which is equivalent to today’s “sweetheart.”

"sweeting, n.1." OED Online. Oxford University Press

Madison Lanpher, 2017


Michael Dobson, Stratford-upon-Avon, Director of the Shakespeare Institute and Professor of Shakespeare Studies at the University of Birmingham published the article “Festivity, dressing up and misrule in Twelfth Night” which analyzes how the Elizabethan period influenced Shakespeare’s work.  In his article, Dobson explains that the Twelfth Night of December (or of Christmas, depending on phrasing variance) “was a festival celebrated with music, masked balls, misrule, and general revelry,”.  A major characteristic of the Twelfth Night festivities includes threatened and reversed hierarchical structures.

Sir Andrew and Sir Toby act like fools in a display that puts their social status as gentlemen into serious question. Indulging and intoxicating themselves sets their behavior on par with people of lower status. The unrefined demeanor they display associates misconduct and revelry with the traditional festivities of Twelfth Night.  Set in a time in which festivity inverts hierarchies, Shakespeare’s choice to stage two gentlemen acting like fools sets a precedent for the duo’s dynamic.

Dobson, Michael. “Festivity, dressing up and misrule in Twelfth Night” British Library 

Discovering Literature: Shakespeare & Renaissance Articles. 15 March 2016.

Emma Purcell, 2021