Twelfth Night or What you Will is a comedy written by William Shakespeare. The title of the comedy refers to the Twelfth Night of Christmas, believed by the Elizabethans to be the day of Jesus’ baptism. Those were the days of heavy drinking and of romantic pursuits. This comedy creates a romantic plot around separated twins, mistaken identity and misplaced passions. The comedy is about Viola and her twin brother Sebastian. They are separated in a shipwreck. Viola disguised as a man finds Duke Orsino very attractive and likeable. But he loves the Countess Olivia. On the other hand, Countess Olivia loves Viola because she thinks Viola is a man.
A nobleman Orsino is longing for the love of Countess Olivia. Her brother died so she is in mourning and is refusing marriage proposals. Meanwhile, a storm causes a shipwreck. A young woman Viola is swept on the shore. Because she is alone on the shore, she assumes her twin brother Sebastian did not survive the shipwreck. A friendly sea captain tells her she should go to Olivia’s house and ask for work. But Countess Olivia refuses to talk with strangers. So, Viola decides that she will disguise as a man named Cesario and she will go to Orsino’s house.
Viola, disguised as Cesario, becomes a favorite of Orsino. Cesario becomes his page. Viola has affection for Orsino but he thinks Viola is a man. One day. Orsino sends Cesario to Olivia’s house to deliver a love message. When Olivia saw Cesario, she fell in love. Olivia believes Cesario is a man. So, everyone is miserable.
In the meantime, we meet other members of Olivia’s household: her uncle sir Toby, his friend sir Andrew, Maria Olivia’s lady-in-waiting, Feste the clever clown and Malvolio the steward to Olivia. Maria decides to make a joke and make Malvolio think that Olivia loves him. Maria forges a letter supposedly from Olivia. In the letter she wrote that if he wants to earn her love he must wear yellow stockings and crossed garters and to smile constantly. When Malvolio fins the letter he starts imagining of becoming a noble and his marriage with Olivia. He starts behaving as requested and Olivia thinks he is mad.
Meanwhile, Sebastian thinks his sister Viola is dead. He arrives to Illyria with his friend Antonio. Antonio is passionately attached to Sebastian. He loves him so much that he even follows him to Orsino’s house although they are old enemies.