Twelfth Night. Acts 4 and 5 summaries. Act 4, scene 1 summary:
Acts 4 and 5 summaries
Mistaking Sebastian for Cesario, Sir Andrew and Sir Toby take turns abusing him. Olivia enters and comes to Sebastian’s rescue (she still thinks he is Cesario). Befuddled by all of this strange behavior but considering it a dream from which he doesn’t want to awaken, Sebastian follows Olivia out of the scene.
Sebastian delivers a soliloquy in which he marvels at the unbelievable fortune of having (literally) stumbled into Olivia’s affections. He declares that, although all evidence points to this situation being completely real, he still feels like it’s too good to be true. Olivia enters the scene and proposes that the two of them head straight to the chapel to be betrothed, and Sebastian willingly follows.
The Duke’s guards enter with the bound Antonio, who continues to mistake Viola for Sebastian. Of course Antonio’s account of rescuing the drowning Sebastian and freely giving him companionship, protection, devotion, and money these past three months seems absurd to Viola/Cesario and the duke. The Duke affirms that Viola has been in his employ these past three months.
Olivia’s entrance further continues the mistaken identity. She spurns the Duke’s flowery praise, but she mistakes Viola/Cesario for Sebastian, the man with whom she just pledged unending love in the presence of a priest. The Duke is incensed at the supposed betrayal of his love by the very messenger with whom he entrusted his petitions of love. Orsino then threatens to take Cesario offstage and kill him (“I’ll sacrifice the lamb that I do love/To spite a raven’s heart within a dove”). The priest then enters and confirms that such a vow was made in his presence not two hours ago. Viola, still pretending to be Cesario, is willing to follow the angry duke if this is what he says will make him happy.
This confusion remains unresolved when Sir Andrew enters with a bleeding head wound. He received the wound from Sebastian, whom he mistook for Cesario. Toby enters with a similar wound. Seeing Cesario (Viola) on stage, the mistaken identity continues to compound when they believe him to be the one who injured them.
Festeleads the two wounded men off stage in one direction while Sebastian enters from the other. While Sebastian apologizes to Olivia for wounding her kinsman, the entire stage stands flabbergasted. After a few moments of shock, Sebastian realizes that the only thing hindering his reunion with his sister is Cesario’s male appearance. Sebastian then realizes that Olivia had mistaken him for Cesario and that she came extremely close to being betrothed to a woman. Orsino sees an opportunity that he quickly grasps. Cesario has frequently pledged love and devotion to Orsino, so the Duke feels that a simple change of clothes can also change that camaraderie to romantic love. Orsino insists on seeing Cesario dressed as a woman first.
Since Viola’s clothes are with the captain and the captain is detained by order of Malvolio, Olivia sends for Malvolio to be brought to them. . .
(Among other plot developments in the parts we will left unread, Olivia begs Orsinoto cease his infatuation with her and to think of her now as a sister. He easily agrees. Orsino escorts the crew off the stage with the intention of seeing Cesario dressed as Viola and then marrying her. While the play began with Duke Orsino’s lines, the clown Feste is actually left last alone on stage to speak the last lines of the play.)