Act V Scene I

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The lone scene in Act V, this scene serves as the conclusion to the play. In the beginning of the scene, Orsino encounters the Fool. he sends the Fool to get Olivia for him. At this time, Antonio and the officers come in. Antonio once again castigates Cesario, being mistaken as Sebastian, for not giving him back his purse and for betraying their previous bond. Orsino comes to realize that Cesario is not the man in question by Antonio by asking a few questions. Soon Olivia enters and after denying Orsino yet again, she reveals to him that she and Cesario are now married. Cesario denies the marriage and Olivia sends for the priest to confirm their union. Eventually, the priest joins the scene and proclaims that he did inceed marry Olivia to Cesario. In the meantime, Andrew and Toby, beaten up, come over to accuse Cesario of attacking them again. Cesario once again denies another allegation meant for Sebastian. To make matters more confusing, Sebastian enters, apologizes for beating up Andrew and Toby, and acknowledges Antonio. Then comes the pivotal scene in which Cesario reveals himself to be a woman named Viola, and brother and sister, Sebastian and Viola, are reunited for the first time since the shipwreck. With this revelation, Olivia is now officially married to Sebastian, and Orsino proposes to Viola. While the happiness is flowing, the seemingly forgotten Malvolio comes to Olivia in a tattered state looking for answers. Olivia notices right away that the handwriting in the letter belongs to Maria, not her. Fabian admits to the trickery and tells us that Maria and Toby are married because of the bond created by this joke. The Fool also admits to Malvolio that he was Sir Topas. Malvolio, frustrated, swears revenge on the everyone a part of the joke and leaves seeming to have learned his lesson. In spite of Malvolio, the merriment continues and the Fool ends the play with a celebratory song.


Act 5, Scene 1 is relevant to the play because it serves the purpose of concluding the play by tying up most of the loose ends with a happy comedic ending. To start, all mistaken identities are revealed when Cesario unveils himself as Viola, Sebastian comes clean about who he is, and even the Fool tells Malvolio that he was Sir Topas. These revelations allow Viola and Sebastian to reunite and for Antonio to gain closure with Sebastian. It also allows the romances flourish, with Olivia and Sebastian happy with their marriage, and with Viola and Orsino realizing their love and preparing for marriage at the end. Another marriage between Maria and Toby is exposed by Fabian in this scene. Even Malvolio learns what happened to him, and learns his lesson about being nice.

Why We Kept...

The lines chosen to remain in the scene were either kept for plot advancement, character development, comedic relief, and/or the happy ending.
Plot advancement is important in this scene because certain events must be kept so that the happy ending is able to occur at the end. In the beginning of the scene, some of the events heighten the problem of mistaken identity. These will lead to Cesario and Sebastian to let the other characters know their true identities. To start, Antonio scolds Cesario, whom he thinks is Sebastian, for the reason that he “denied me mine own purse, which I had recommended to his use not half an hour before” (lines 88 – 90). Then, Olivia and Orsino argue about Cesario’s supposed marriage to Olivia, which really was a marriage to Sebastian, in lines 148 – 155, and the priest “settles” it in lines 164 - 165. Next, Andrew and Toby accuse Cesario of hurting both of their heads (lines 185-186). This course of events is necessary to lead Cesario to reveal himself as Viola, and Sebastian saying who he really is.

Character development is significant in this scene, therefore several events are kept because they are either showing new traits or reaffirming old traits of the characters, even though it is the end of the play. For example, Orsino is confirmed as a good guy because he so readily calls Viola her “master’s mistress” (line 343) and returns her sentiments of love. In another instance of important character development, it is reaffirmed that Viola is good-hearted and wanted to be honest when she tells Orsino that she wasn’t lying when she said those subtle statements of love to him as Cesario (lines 281 – 284).

Comedic relief must be kept in the play because this is a comedy in its truest form. Although some smaller occasions of humor in the scene were cut, significant instances of it must remain in the play. One such instance is when the joke on Malvolio is explained to him and he gets so frustrated he claims he’ll “be revenged on the whole pack” (line 401).

The happy ending is vital to an Elizabethan comedy and “Twelfth Night” is no different. Several events in this scene must be kept to portray a traditional happy ending. In the typical happy ending, almost everyone gets married in a parade to the altar. In this scene, the marriages between Viola and Orsino (line 341 – 343) and between Maria and Toby are revealed (lines 386 – 387), and previously Sebastian and Olivia got married. Also, the “evil” character Malvolio learns his lesson.

Overall, the abridged version of Act 5, Scene 1 includes the specific lines it does because they contribute to plot advancement, character development, comedic relief, and/or the happy ending.

Why We Cut...

The major deletions from the play in this abridged version were mainly repeated or unnecessary information that didn't further the plot. In the beginning of the play, Orsino encounters the Fool (Lines 7-45). Most of this scene was removed because the Fool and the Count are only making jokes to one another. This serves as a comic relief, but is not essential to furthering the plot or presenting new information to the reader.

Shakespeare has a habit for repeating information already given many times, which is not needed. Lines 237-242 Sebastian only needs to say that he had a sister; he does not need to repeat questions pertaining to the same thing. In Lines 243-260 Viola/Cesario and Sebastian give each other many instances on how they can be related but lines 256-260 are unimportant because there are already many coincidences to show how they are brother and sister.

Information about the captain was deleted from the abridged version (Lines 266-270, and Lines 287-290). He was not mentioned during the movie in class, so it is obvious that the information is unneccessary to be included for the play to be complete.

At the end of the act the Fool sings to tie up the play. Even though this song is lovely and is a good way to end the play, it shows no importance.

Because of the lines that we eliminated most of the characters' personalities aren't being shown. We removed most of the jokes leaving the Fool not very foolish. Some lines concerning Toby and his drunkenness were deleted. By doing that the reader doesn't pick up that Toby is a very immature character and that he enjoys drinking. Also since many comedic elements are being taken out, it shifts the play from being a pure comedy.


A beaten Toby and Andrew confront Cesario/Viola who they believe gave them bruises, but was in fact Sebastian. Cesario/Viola is in complete confusion for he/she never laid a hand on them. Lines 182-207.

54419.jpgSebastian and Viola reunite. Lines 237-270.

55413.jpgAfter reuniting with her brother Sebastian, Cesario/Viola reveals to everyone that he/she is a woman named Viola. Lines 261-275.

91066.jpg Orsino asks Viola for her hand in marriage which she happily accepts. Lines 279-290.

70674.jpgMalvolio, who has been locked away, is a complete wreck and is devasted by the actions that have been made upon him. Lines 348-401.