Twelfth Night – Character Quotes (Orsino and Feste)

‘Give me excess of it, that surfeiting/ The appetite may sicken and so die.’ 1.1.2-3 Orsino-Love as an appetite that can be fulfilled by excess
‘Methought she purged the air of pestilence.’ 1.1.19 Orsino-Sweet smelling
‘That instant was I turned into a hart.’ 1.1.20-3 Orsino-Malapropism
‘When liver, brain and heart,/ These sovereign thrones, are all supplied, and filled/ Her sweet perfections with one self King! 1.1.36-8 OrsinoLiver=PassionBrain=ThoughtHeart=Sentiment
‘I have unclasped/ To thee the book even of my secret soul.’ 1.4.14-5 Orsino-Suggest intimacy-Only been three days
‘Diana’s lip/ Is not more smooth and rubious./ Thy small pipe/ Is as the maiden’s organ, shrill and sound,/ And all is semblative a woman’s part.’ 1.4.31-4 Orsino-Dramatic irony-Increases gender confusion-Romantic undertones
‘Our fancies are more giddy and unfirm.’ 2.4.33 Orsino-Men need young women to maintain romantic interest
‘No woman’s heart/ So big to hold so much – they lack retention.’ 2.4.95-6 Orsino-Paradoxically, Orsino expresses the complete opposite view to which he claimed before
‘But mine is all as hungry as the sea.’ 2.4.100-1 Orsino-Metaphor comparing to the sea to emphasise capacity for love-Bathos
‘Here comes the countess; now heaven walks on earth.’ 5.1.93 Orsino-Returns to adulatory style of speech-Contrast rough language used towards Olivia later in the scene. Serves to support his rapid changes of emotion
‘I’ll sacrifice the lamb that I do love.’ 5.1.126 Orsino-Admits love for Viola whilst still as Cesario-Suspects Cesario’s betrayal and turn ferocious
‘One face, one voice, one habit and two persons.’ 5.1.213 Orsino-Twins on stage together-Compares to an optical illusion
‘Woman’s weeds.’ 5.1.269 Orsino-Wishes to see Viola in female clothing
‘Here is my hand; you shall from this time be/ Your master’s mistress.’ 5.1.318-9 Orsino-Proposes
‘Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage.’ 1.5.18 Feste-Better if woman turns away as it prevents a lousy marriage-Slang for virility: Sexual endowment improves married live
The more fool, Madonna, to mourn your brother’s soul being in heaven. Take away the fool gentlemen.’ 1.5.66-8 Feste-Out wits Olivia-Points out what other characters could not-No need to mourn
‘I wear not motley in my brain.’ 1.5.52-3 Feste-Only a fool by profession, not nature
‘I do live by the church; for I do live at my house, and my house doth stand by the church.’ 3.1.5-7 Feste-By the church-Wordplay
‘A sentence is but a cheverel glove to a good wit.’ 3.1.11-2 Feste-Link to Shakespeare’s father-Ambiguity of language
‘Words are grown so false, I am loathe to prove reason with them.’ 3.1.23-4 Feste-Words false so do not use in serious conversation
‘I am indeed not her fool, but her corrupter of words.’ 3.1.34-5 Feste-Not a simple fool, rather a sophisticated manipulator of language
‘Now Jove in his next commodity of hair send thee a beard.’ 3.1.43-4 Feste-Suggests that Feste knows the truth of Viola’s disguise
‘Sir Topas the curate, who comes to visit Malvolio the lunatic.’ 4.2.21-2 Feste-Uses disguise to taunt Malvolio-‘There is no darkness but ignorance.’

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