Already in AP English we have read Macbeth and Hamlet, now we’re reading our final Shakespeare play, Twelfth Night. This one seems easier to understand, maybe because it’s a comedy, or maybe it’s because of the old adage, “The more Shakespeare you read the easier it gets.”
The test is tomorrow, so to review I will type up the summaries provided by our “Folger Library” books before each scene.
Act I, Scene i
At his court, Orsino, sick with love for the Lady Olivia, learns from his messenger that she is grieving for her dead brother and refuses to be seen for seven years.
Act I, Scene ii
On the Adriatic seacoast, Viola, who has been saved from a shipwreck in which her brother may have drowned, hears about Orsino and Olivia. She wishes to join Olivia’s household, but is told that Olivia will admit no one into her presence. Viola decides to disguise herself as a boy so that she can join Orsino’s male retinue.
Act I, Scene iii
At the estate of Lady Olivia, Sir Toby Belch, Olivia’s kinsman, has brought in Sir Andrew Aguecheek to be her suitor. Maria, Olivia’s lady-in-waiting, says that Andrew is a fool, and Andrew himself doubts his ability to win Olivia, but Toby encourages him to woo her.
Act I, Scene iv
At Orsino’s court, Viola, disguised as a page and calling herself Cesario, has gained the trust of Orsino, who decides to send her to woo Olivia for him. Viola confides to the audience that she loves Orsino herself.
Act I, Scene v
Viola, in her disguise as Cesario, appears at Olivia’s estate. Olivia allows Cesario to speak with her privately about Orsino’s love. As Cesario presents Orsino’s love-suit, Olivia falls in love with Cesario. She sends her steward, Malvolio, after Cesario with a ring.
Once again, these summaries are courtesy of Folger Libraries.