Review: Twelfth Night

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Twelfth Night
A mood of self-indulgence prevails in Illyria. The Duke, Orsino, languidly pines for the love of Olivia, a noblewoman who has forsworn society to spend seven years mourning her dead brother. Contrary to Olivia's assumed somberness, frivolity reigns in her house. Her uncle, Sir Toby Belch, presides over drunken riots attended by Sir Andrew Aguecheek, a rich but foolish knight whose wooing of Olivia Toby encourages for the financial benefits it affords himself, Olivia's gentlewoman, Maria, and gentleman, Fabian. Soon Feste the Clown reappears to join their number. Against this confederacy stands Olivia's steward, Malvolio, a man who confuses self-righteousness for virtue and self-importance for dignity. Into this community is cast a young gentlewoman named Viola. Survivor of a shipwreck that she believes has killed her twin brother (who lives on in her looks), Viola must make her own way amid unknown surroundings. To this end, she dons male dress and enters the service of Orsino under the name Cesario. But however successfully her masculine costume deceives the eyes of those she meets, it cannot fool her own heart; she falls in love with the Duke her master. Soon, Viola has gained Orsino's confidence to the extent that the Duke trusts "him" to act as his envoy to Olivia. Viola performs this office with great vigor and good humor, with the unfortunate result that Olivia immediately falls in love with "Cesario." Her vows forgotten, Olivia resorts to devious means to lure "him" back. Meanwhile, Viola's brother, Sebastian, also arrives on the seacoast. Unaware of Viola's survival, he has been rescued by Antonio, a sea captain. A great bond has grown between them, so Antonio braves his enemies to follow Sebastian to Illyria and lends him money. After the puritanical Malvolio scolds Sir Toby and his cohorts, Maria plots their revenge on the steward. Playing on Malvolio's vanity, she forges what appears to be Olivia's confession of love for him. His mind...
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