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Twelfth Night Scene i The setting is the foreign land of Illyria and the play opens at the palace of the youthful Duke Orsino as he speaks in lyrical but melancholy verse about his love for a beautiful countess Olivia A messenger arrives with bad news for the Duke Olivia has rejected his marriage proposal saying that she wishes to enter into a period of seclusion following the death of her brother This vow only adds to the Dukes admiration of Olivia and her devotion increases his ardor Scene ii On the seacoast of Illyria we see the plays chief protagonist Viola with a sea captain and learn that the ship that they were sailing on has been wrecked Sebastian Violas twin brother was aboard the same vessel Although his fate is still unknown the captain tells Viola that Sebastian may also have been rescued The story of Duke Orsinos unrequited love for Olivia is related to Viola by the captain She then decides to join the Dukes court disguised as a young man Scene iii At the palatial home of the countess Olivia we are introduced to her uncle Sir Toby Belch and to one of her servants Maria Sir Toby complains about his nieces reclusiveness Uncle Tobys concern here is not Olivias withdrawal but its effect on his plan to marry his lovely niece to one of his rich and foppish friends Sir Andrew Aguecheck Maria says that Toby and Sir Andrew should tone down their hard-drinking merriment of which Olivia disapproves Having made no headway in his suit for Olivias affection Sir Andrew enters and says that he will leave the house because the Duke is actively courting her but Sir Toby assures him that Olivia has rejected the Dukes romantic overtures Scene iv The act takes place at Duke Orsinos palace Here we find that Viola has disguised herself as the young man Cesario and has been embraced
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