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Plot Summary

Twelfth Night Summary 


Twins Viola and Sebastian are separated in a shipwreck.

Viola thinks that Sebastian is dead, therefore she disguises herself to look like her brother and calls herself ‘Cesario’. She then takes a job with Duke Orsino.

She falls in love with the Duke but cannot do anything about it because of her disguise.

She also discovers that Duke Orsino has fallen in love with a woman called Olivia. Later, Olivia rejects the Duke because her brother recently died.

Duke Orsino sends Viola (aka Cesario) to Olivia to try and win her love. However, Olivia then falls in love with Viola because she mistakenly thinks that she is a handsome man (Cesario).

Meanwhile Olivia’s steward, Malvolio, is trying to keep order in her house but her uncle Sir Toby Belch and his friends have other ideas. They convince poor Malvolio that Olivia is in love with him and make him look extremely foolish. Olivia thinks her servant has gone mad.

Later, it turns out that Sebastian survived the shipwreck. He arrives on the island. When Olivia sees him, she naturally thinks that he is Cesario and promptly marries him (remember Viola’s disguise made her look like Sebastian).

Duke Orsino is furious when he finds out but, once Viola and Sebastian meet and reveal their true identities, there is a happy ending for everyone but poor Malvolio.