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Twelfth Night, or What You Will

Twelfth Night, or What You Will


by William Shakespeare

Countess Olivia Timeline and Summary

  • 1.1.1: We learn that Olivia has sent word to Orsino that she's not interested in marriage – she's too busy mourning the death of her brother, which will go on for seven years.
  • 1.5.1: Olivia pretends to be mad at her hired fool, Feste, but allows him to cheer her up by insulting her. Olivia tells Malvolio that he's a jerk if he doesn't love Feste.
  • 1.5.32: Olivia meets with "Cesario" and bags on Orsino's lame attempts at love poetry, but finds herself smitten with the messenger.
  • 1.5.48: Olivia sends "Cesario" a ring (by way of Malvolio) to let the page know she's in love with "him."
  • 3.1.1: Olivia meets with "Cesario" in her garden and professes her love. Her seduction attempt fails.
  • 3.4.15: Olivia thinks Malvolio has lost his mind when he capers around her place in yellow stockings and speaks nonsense.
  • 3.4.18: Olivia tries again to seduce "Cesario," who rejects her. She gives "Cesario" a piece of jewelry with her tiny portrait painted on it.
  • 4.1.1: Olivia interrupts a fight between Toby and Sebastian, who she believes is "Cesario."
  • 4.1.3: Olivia seduces Sebastian, thinking he's "Cesario."
  • 4.3.1: Olivia brings a priest to her garden and proposes to Sebastian (who she still believes is "Cesario." They run off to get hitched.
  • 5.1.1: Olivia yells at "Cesario" for being a neglectful husband so soon after their marriage vows.
  • 5.1.7: Olivia thinks her husband is in love with Duke Orsino when "Cesario" chases after the Duke.
  • 5.1.16: Olivia is psyched when Sebastian shows up and she realizes that she has married Viola's twin brother and not "Cesario."
  • 5.1.27: Olivia learns that Maria and Toby have been playing a joke on Malvolio. She explains to Malvolio that she never wrote him a love letter. When Malvolio runs off and swears revenge, Olivia is the only one to express regret for what has happened to her steward. Still, she parties with the others because she's newly married and Viola is engaged.