Twelfth Night (From Viola's Perspective)

August 12, 2015

 

 

Ships aren't supposed to split in half. They're made to float and sail, NOT to break into pieces and cuddle with the ocean floor. Yet, that's exactly what our ship does. One moment I'm on a ship with my two brother, Sebastian, and the next, I'm a spider in a shower drain, desperately flailing for something to hold onto, until I find the lifeboat and a few terrified passengers clinging on for dear life.

 

Our Captain finds us and gets us to shore. I feel like a drowned rat and there's sand EVERYWHERE, but we're alive...and Sebastian is nowhere to be found.

 

There isn't much time to grieve: this world is dangerous for a lone woman. I need a plan. The Captain tells me about the lady Olivia, and I think we'd be a great pair: her father and brother are dead too, so clearly we have much in common. But she won't see anyone, so Plan B: the bachelor Duke Orsino. He won't have use for me as a woman, though, so I'll need to disguise myself as a boy. It's decided! I'll pose as his eunuch.

 

Okay, page. I'll be his page. The Captain told me what eunuchs are used for....

 

After just three days with Duke Orsino, he's taken me in as a pal, his #1 man. Even though everyone makes jokes about how girly I am, no one seems to see my true identity. Good. It doesn't take long for things to go downhill: the Duke wants me to woo Olivia on his behalf. The thing is, he might think I'm a guy, but my heart and hormones know differently and I've gone and let myself fall for him.

 

So, I go to meet his dream woman, and after she sends just about everyone in her house to get rid of me, she lets me into the house. I do my best to win her heart for the Duke, I swear, but she has no interest in even hearing it. I admit, I'm kind of ticked. The Duke is amazing and she just REFUSES to love him! And then she gets all weird, talking like she's been hypnotized or something. When she sends me along, I'm happy to go - I'm confused and flustered and DONE.

 

On my way home, something even weirder happens: her gentleman, Malvolio, comes running after me to return a ring he swears came from my master by me, I did NOT give her a ring! What? And then it clicks. My disguise is too good -she loves me! Ih, Jove, this is bad.

 

I return to Orsino, who's obsessing over music, per usual. It leads his to a talk about love, and I want to tell him, but I don't. The Fool sings this beautiful, sad song, and we get close, and the hormones are pumping, and just as I'm thinking maybe I should tell him who I am, he goes into a huff and sends me back too Olivia. I try so hard to get out of it - I do NOT want to see her again - and I even tell him a story about my "fathers daughter" and her unrequited love, but it's no good, and off I go back to Olivia.

 

On the way back, I see the fool Feste. He's a bizarre fellow, but I do enjoy the wordplay. When he goes to fetch Olivia, Sir Toby and Sir Andrew come out. I know nothing about them aside from their constant stink of alcohol. It seems like they want something, but as soon as Olivia comes out she sends them off - and I soon realize I would've preferred them to stay! Olivia's lovely, sure, but she's a SHE. And she is FEISTY. This lady doesn't take no for an answer! I escape with some of my dignity.

 

My lord and lady have something in common: he also refuses to accept "no" as an answer! Back I go, dreadfully, to the lady Olivia. I admit, I give less effort now - that woman is terrifying!

 

As I escape, I'm stopped by Sir Toby and another man, Fabian. They tell me of a knight who is determined to fight me, waiting up ahead. I. Do. Not. Fight. After s desperate attempt to clear my name, I'm forced to fight Sir Andrew. I like to think I out up a brave fight, for my first time wielding a sword, and somehow I escape with my life (HA! Take that, Sir Andrew!) - but admittedly was helped by a strange man who steps in for me. Some officers interrupt as they come in to arrest him - he is he pirate Antonio. And then things get weird - again. He asks me for money like he'd given me some. Confused and moved by his help, I offer half my coffer, and he's insulted! What?! And then he calls me Sebastian. Now, I don't understand what's going on, but he called me by my brother's name!

 

I return to Orsino, who immediately desires to see Olivia, so off we go. The officers have brought Antonio, who tells a s

 

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