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Quotes

Quote #7

SEBASTIAN
This is the air; that is the glorious sun;
This pearl she gave me, I do feel't and see't;
And though 'tis wonder that enwraps me thus,
Yet 'tis not madness. Where's Antonio, then?
I could not find him at the Elephant:
Yet there he was; and there I found this credit,
That he did range the town to seek me out.
His counsel now might do me golden service; (4.3.1)

We've seen how deeply devoted Antonio is to Sebastian. Here, however, it's pretty clear that Sebastian doesn't feel as strongly about Antonio. (Prior to this scene, Sebastian tries to ditch Antonio before travelling to Illyria and then jumps at the chance to hook up with Olivia.) Here, as Sebastian muses about the strangeness of Olivia's love for him, Antonio is quite literally an afterthought. Sebastian's question, "Where's Antonio, then?" seems to be pinned on at the very end of a lengthy thought about Olivia and merits only half a line. What's worse, Sebastian only wonders where Antonio is (the poor guy was arrested back in Act 3, Scene 4) because he wants someone to give him some advice about his new girlfriend. Ouch.

Quote #8

MALVOLIO
To be Count Malvolio!
[…]
Calling my officers about me, in my branched velvet
gown; having come from a day-bed, where I have left
Olivia sleeping,--
[…]
And then to have the humour of state; and after a
demure travel of regard, telling them I know my
place as I would they should do theirs (2.5.2)

Malvolio's unrealistic fantasy about marrying Olivia is not so much about erotic desire as it is about Malvolio's social aspirations. Here, he imagines himself leaving Olivia's bed, not being in it for any length of time. He also seems to get excited about the idea of wearing fancy clothes and bossing around his servants and Sir Toby. Hmm…this seems to make him just as self-absorbed as, say, Duke Orsino. For more on Malvolio's attempts at social climbing, check out "Society and Class." You know you want to.

Quote #9

ORSINO
"Cesario", come;
For so you shall be, while you are a man;
But when in other habits you are seen,
Orsino's mistress and his fancy's queen. (5.1.30)

It's pretty striking that Duke Orsino calls Viola "Cesario," even after they are engaged and Viola's identity is revealed. Clearly, the Duke is not quite used to the idea that his "boy" is actually a girl. This passage also raises the question of whether or not Orsino is attracted to "Cesario" or "Viola" or both.

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