In the comedy Twelfth Night, disguise and mistaken identity create a complicated love triangle. The duke Orsino is in love with Lady Olivia. Meanwhile, Viola ends up shipwrecked and separated from her brother Sebastian. She dresses as a boy and becomes the page of Orsino, with whom she falls in love. Olivia falls in love with Viola in her disguise. Although everything works out in the end, with Viola marrying Orsino and Olivia marrying Sebastian, love makes the characters miserable through much of the play.
Twelfth Night, or What You Will is a comedy by William Shakespeare, named after the Twelfth Night holiday. The play was probably written in 1601 or 1602.
The appetite may sicken, and so die.—
That strain again; it had a dying fall:
O, it came oer my ear, like the sweet sound
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing, and giving odour! Enough! No more.
'Tis not so sweet now as it was before.
The form of my intent.
Lady, you are the cruell’st she alive
If you will lead these graces to the grave,
And leave the world no copy.
Write loyal cantons of contemned love,
And sing them loud even in the dead of night;
Holla your name to the reverberate hills,
And make the babbling gossip of the air
That can sing both high and low:
Trip no further, pretty sweeting;
Journeys end in lovers' meeting,
Every wise man’s son doth know.
What's to come is still unsure:
In delay there lies no plenty;
Then come kiss me, sweet-and-twenty:
Youth's a stuff will not endure.
So sways she level in her husband’s heart:
For, boy, however we do praise ourselves,
Our fancies are more giddy and unfirm,
More longing, wavering, sooner lost and worn,
Than women’s are.
Do use to chant it: it is silly sooth,
And dallies with the innocence of love,
Like the old age.
Fly away, fly away, breath;
I am slain by a fair cruel maid.
But let concealment, like a worm i' the bud,
Feed on her damask cheek: she pin'd in thought,
And, with a green and yellow melancholy,
She sat like Patience on a monument,
Smiling at grief. Was not this love, indeed?
A foolish thing was but a toy,
For the rain it raineth every day.
But that's all one, our play is done,
And we'll strive to please you every day.