Act IV. Scene I. - The Street adjoining Olivia's
Sebastian: "What relish is in this? how runs the stream?
Or I am mad, or else this is a dream... If it be thus
to dream, still let me sleep!"
Confusion reigns as Sebastian is now mistaken for
Cesario (Viola in disguise) when Feste insists Sebastian
sent for him and Sebastian is certain he did not (Cesario
Sir Andrew finds Sebastian and thinking it is Cesario
from the earlier "fight" that did not happen, hits Sebastian.
Sebastian unlike Cesario is not afraid to return the
favor and a fight is only stopped by Sir Toby's
Sir Andrew decides to have Sebastian punished by
the law of Illyria despite the fact that he started
Sir Toby and Sebastian are just about to fight when
Olivia screams for her uncle, Sir Toby to stop. Olivia
scolds Sir Toby, hoping Sebastian, whom she thinks is
Cesario, will forgive her uncle and not be displeased
Sebastian, amazed that this beautiful woman he does
not know, loves him, replies to Olivia that he will
be ruled by her and the two set off to marry immediately...
Act IV opens amid confusion, with Feste the Clown insisting
that he was sent for, Sebastian answering that he did
not send for the clown. We quickly realize why Sebastian
is certain he did not send for Feste and why Feste is
equally certain he was sent for; Feste has mistaken
Sebastian (Viola's or Cesario's brother) for Cesario.
Sebastian not knowing his sister is alive under the
guise of Cesario, was the one who sent for Feste (Lines
Tiring of Feste's riddles (Lines 11-18), Sebastian
tells Feste to "depart from me:" (leave), (Line 19),
telling the Clown, "There's money for thee [you]:
if you tarry longer [stay longer] / I shall give a worse
payment" by which Sebastian means he will likely hit
the Clown if he does not leave as paid to (Line 20).
The Clown happily accepts Sebastian's money and
Sir Andrew now enters.
Mistaking Sebastian for Cesario, like the Clown did
just moments earlier, Sir Andrew strikes Sebastian (Line
26), but Sebastian returns the favor hitting Sir Andrew
whilst saying "Why, there's for thee, and there,
and there, and there!" before asking "Are all the people
mad?" since first Feste pretended to know him and now
Sir Andrew attacks him for no reason (Line 29).
Sir Toby and Fabian now enter, Sir Toby threatening
Sebastian to protect Sir Andrew from further beating
Feste, a silent witness to Sir Andrew's beating
at the hands of who he thinks is Cesario (but is really
Sebastian), says that he will "tell my lady straight"
or immediately what has happened here (Line 32).
Knowing that Olivia will not be happy to learn that
her much favored Cesario has fought Sir Andrew and argued
with her uncle, Sir Toby, Feste says, "I would not be
in some of your coats for twopence" (I would not be
in your shoes for two pence once Olivia finds out that
you have fought Sir Andrew and argued with Sir Toby)
before leaving (Line 33).
Sir Toby now has Sebastian in his grasp but Sir Andrew
decides to deal with Cesario (really Sebastian) in another
way by making a charge of battery (assault) against
Cesario instead. Sir Andrew points out that though he
stuck first he is confident that the law of Illyria
will be on his side (Lines 35-40).
Sebastian demands to be let go (Line 41) and despite
Sir Toby's attempts, frees himself from Sir Toby's
grip (Line 45). Sebastian warns Sir Toby that should
he annoy him further, he will draw his sword, a clear
threat that Sebastian will fight Sir Toby if pushed
further (Line 47).
Sir Toby, angered by Cesario's (Sebastian's)
cheek (arrogance), draws his sword to fight but Olivia
now enters, shouting, "Hold, Toby! on thy life I charge
thee, hold!", (Stop!, Toby, on your life I charge /
command you, stop!), (Line 49).
Sir Toby replies "Madam!" and to Sir Toby's immense
surprise, Olivia scolds him, describing him as a barbarian
fit for a time when manners were never practiced and
then telling him to leave her sight before telling her
sweet Cesario (really Sebastian) to ignore Sir Toby's
Olivia: "Ungracious wretch! [to Sir Toby] Fit for the
mountains and the barbarous caves, / Where manners ne'er
[never] were preach'd [preached / practiced]. Out
of my sight! Be not offended, dear Cesario. Rudesby,
be gone!" (Lines 51-54).
Sir Toby, Sir Andrew and Fabian now leave, and Olivia
alone now with who she believes is Cesario (Sebastian),
tells him to try to forget Sir Toby and company's
recent actions (Lines 56-57), telling Cesario to "Go
with me to my house, / And hear thou there how many
fruitless pranks / This ruffian [Sir Toby] hath botch'd
up" (come now to my house and hear how many worthless
pranks Sir Toby has ruined), (Line 60).
Olivia tells Cesario (Sebastian) to not put her off
again, saying "Do not deny" (Line 62) to Sebastian who
wonders whether he is mad since he is being courted
by a beautiful woman he does not know, who has just
Sebastian makes this clear when he says "What relish
is in this? how runs the stream? Or I am mad, or else
this is a dream... If it be thus to dream, still let
me sleep!" (if this is a dream that this beautiful woman
courts me, let me keep sleeping / dreaming!), (Lines
Olivia now tells Sebastian who she still recognizes
as Cesario, "come, I prithee" (Please come with me)
before asking "Would thou'dst be rul'd by
me!" (Would you be ruled by me, a reference to marriage),
to which Sebastian , clearly bewitched by Olivia's
beauty, replies "Madam, I will" (Madam I will be ruled
by you, yes I will marry you), (Line 69).
Olivia delighted that Cesario (Sebastian) has finally
given in to her answers "O! say so, and so be! " (O!
Say this and it will be / we shall get married) and
the two depart for what we later learn is a priest to
Act IV. Scene II. - A Room in Olivia's
Feste as the curate Sir Topas to Malvolio: "Fie, thou
In Olivia's house, Malvolio in a darkened room
is teased mercilessly by Feste who tries unsuccessfully
to convince Malvolio that he is mad. Sir Toby, fearing
that his fight with Cesario (Sebastian) has put him
on thin ice with Olivia, wants Feste's teasing
of Malvolio to stop. Feste has other ideas but eventually
lets Malvolio write a letter to Olivia proclaiming his
Meanwhile in a dark room in Olivia's house, Maria
and Feste the Clown enter. Ever since Malvolio's
madness towards Olivia, Olivia had Malvolio placed in
the care of Maria to ensure Olivia's staff could
"have special care" (take care), (Line 70, Act III,
Scene III) of Malvolio since his "midsummer madness"
(Line 62 Act III, Scene III) while she pursued Cesario.
We now realize that this meant confining Malvolio to
a darkened room adjoining the one Feste and Maria are
Maria instructs Feste to put on a gown and beard so
Feste can impersonate "Sir Topas, the curate:" and thus
have some more fun at Malvolio's expense (Lines
Feste does as he is told whilst Maria quickly summons
Sir Toby so he too can enjoy a further humiliation of
Malvolio on top of the yellow stockings cross-gartered
episode earlier (Lines 1-12).
Feste now greets Sir Toby with the phrase "Bonos
dies," before thoroughly confusing Sir Toby with
pedantic mutterings in an attempt to sound highly intelligent
like the real "Master parson," (Line 18).
Feste the Clown: "'That, that is, is;' so I, being
Master parson, am Master parson; for, what is 'that,'
but 'that,' and 'is,' but 'is?'" (Lines 15-19).
Sir Toby is thoroughly impressed with Feste's
performance, saying "The knave counterfeits [fakes /
pretends / impersonates) well;" and now in the dark,
Feste enters Malvolio's darkened room (Line 23).
Malvolio asks who's there, Feste replying "Sir
Topas, the curate, who comes to visit Malvolio the lunatic"
Malvolio completely believing that Feste is Sir Topas,
tells the "Sir Topas, the curate," to go and
fetch Olivia (Lines 25-28) but Feste accuses Malvolio
of being obsessed with "ladies" (Line 30).
Malvolio now pleads that he is sane but Feste, describes
Malvolio as "thou dishonest Satan!" (You dishonest Satan
or devil), asking Malvolio if he thinks it is dark in
his dark chamber (Line 36).
Malvolio says yes, and Feste takes the opportunity
to suggest Malvolio is mad by pretending it is sunny
(Lines 41-44), Malvolio pleading that he is not mad
and the chamber is indeed dark (Line 45).
Feste won't have a word of it, telling Malvolio
that he must be mad. Malvolio again claims he is being
wronged, so Feste asks Malvolio what he thinks of Pythagoras'
opinion on wild fowl (Line 56).
Malvolio answers that the theory means "That the soul
of our grandam might happily inhabit a bird" (reincarnation),
Malvolio says he disagrees with the theory and Feste
tells Malvolio unless he changes his mind, Malvolio
will remain in darkness, Feste now leaving Malvolio
Sir Toby is pleased and Maria adds that they really
did not need the beard and gown since Malvolio could
not see Feste anyway (Line 68)..
Sir Toby, the master of practical jokes, hypocritically
tells Feste to speak to Malvolio "in thine own voice,
and bring me word how thou findest him: I would we were
well rid of this knavery" (in your own voice so the
game ends and tell me in what condition you find Malvolio
in: I would be happy if we were well rid of all this
tomfoolery), (Line 72).
Sir Toby, worried that Olivia now has little patience
for him now after he fought "Cesario" tells Feste to
stop this game since as he puts it, "I am now so far
in offence with my niece that I cannot pursue with any
safety this sport to the upshot" by which he means he
has so exhausted Olivia's patience, that if Olivia
knew what he was doing to Malvolio, he would probably
be kicked out by Olivia (Line 75).
Sir Toby and Maria now leave, but Feste has other ideas
returning to Malvolio's chamber to torment Malvolio
just a little more...
Ignoring Sir Toby's instruction, Feste torments
Malvolio further by trying to convince Malvolio that
not only is Sir Topas in the chamber but also a minister
(Line 109). Despite his tormenting, Feste does however
grant Malvolio's wish for some "ink, paper, and
light;" (Line 120) so Malvolio can "set down to my lady:"
or defend his sanity in writing to Olivia (Line 122).
Act IV. Scene III. - Olivia's Garden.
Sebastian: "I am mad / Or else the lady's mad...."
Sebastian can barely believe his luck, a beautiful
woman (Lady Olivia) loves him and has given him a pearl.
Sebastian briefly wonders if he is dreaming before he
marries Lady Olivia in a private chapel. Olivia explains
that their now secret marriage will be revealed later...
Within Olivia's garden, Sebastian is basking in
the warm glow that is the love of the beautiful Olivia.
Sebastian still can barely believe his luck, again convincing
himself that this cannot be a dream, the pearl he was
given is as real as the sun...
Sebastian: "This is the air: that is the glorious sun;
/ This pearl she gave me, I do feel't [feel it]
and see't [see it]... Yet 'tis [it is] not madness"
(Lines 1- 4).
Though pleased with his good fortune, Sebastian wonders
where Antonio is since he could not find him at the
Elephant (a lodging) as planned (Line 5).
Again Sebastian wonders if this could all be a dream
(Lines 9-13) before wondering whether "I am mad / Or
else the lady's mad:" (Line 15).
Sebastian quickly realizes however that this cannot
be a dream for if it were a dream, Olivia "could not
sway her house, command her followers, / Take and give
back affairs and their dispatch / With such a smooth,
discreet, and stable bearing / As I perceive she does"
(Olivia could not run her affairs as smoothly as I can
see she does), (Lines 17-19)
Nonetheless, Sebastian still has his suspicions about
his good fortune, saying "There's something in
't [in it] / That is deceivable" (that is wrong, that
I do not trust), (Line 20) before noticing Olivia arriving.
Olivia now arrives with a Priest, Olivia wanting to
be married to Cesario (Sebastian) as quickly as possible.
Olivia is a little embarrassed by this since she tells
Cesario (Sebastian) "Blame not this haste of mine"
(Line 22) before telling Cesario that:
If you mean well, / Now go with me and with this
holy man / Into the chantry [private chapel] by; there,
before him, / And underneath that consecrated roof,
/ Plight me the full assurance of your faith; / That
my most jealous and too doubtful soul / May live at
(If you mean what you say, come with me now and this
holy man into the private chapel where before him,
under that holy roof, make your vows to me so my most
jealous and doubtful soul can live in peace, certain
that you love me), (Lines 23-28)
Olivia now tells Cesario (Sebastian) that their priest
"shall conceal it" (their marriage) until they can celebrate
their wedding properly as befits Olivia's social
standing which she describes as "According to my birth"
(Line 31) before asking Cesario (Sebastian), "What do
you say?" (Line 31).
Sebastian still not believing his good luck, replies
that he will happily follow the priest "And, having
sworn truth [said his vows], ever will be true" (will
always love Olivia and be true to his vows), (Line 33).
Olivia, overjoyed to hear this, happily pronounces
"Then lead the way, good father [the Priest]; and heavens
so shine / That they may fairly note this act of mine!"