INC COMMENTS on the 16th century Italian Plays.
When Sebastian arrives on the scene, confusion ensues. Mistaking him for Viola, Olivia asks him to marry her, and they are secretly married by a priest.
“If music be the food of love, play on… O spirit of love, how quick and fresh are thou…” is how Orsino, a duke helplessly in love with Olivia, starts the Shakespearean play, “Twelfth Night.” This comic play takes place in Illyria and is centered around love, confusion, and disguise. Olivia, who lives in a large household with her Uncle, Sir Toby, and many servants, is mourning over the loss of her brother. She wears a black veil and does not plan to see anyone or court anyone for seven years. This does not stop Duke Orsino, because he is too in love with Olivia and still tries to marry her.
At this time Viola has been rescued from at shipwreck on the coast, but she seems devastated because she thinks her brother, Sebastian, has been lost in the wreck. Completely distraught, she wants to become a servant of Olivia’s and live a hidden life with her, but she is told that will not happen since Olivia will not see anyone. Viola’s other option is to disguise herself as a man, “Cesario”, and become a servant of Orsino’s.