Twelfth Night: "I left no ring with her."

Twelfth Night: "I left no ring with her."

Royal Shakespeare Company

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In Act 2, Scene 2 of Twelfth Night, Countess Olivia sends Malvolio to return a ring to Cesario, who is actually Viola disguised as a man. However, Viola never left a ring behind, and it becomes clear that Olivia's true motive is to see Cesario again. After the arrogant Malvolio departs, Viola is left alone to ponder the encounter.

In the ensuing monologue, Viola questions Olivia's motives, wondering, ''What means this lady?'' As she reflects, she realizes that Olivia must have been deceived by her disguise as Cesario and is now hopelessly in love. ''Fortune forbid my outside have not charmed her!'' Viola recalls Olivia's initial reaction to her, noting how Olivia ''did speak in starts,'' a sure sign of infatuation. Despite her own growing feelings for Orsino, Viola takes pity on Olivia, suggesting it would be better for her to ''love a dream'' than to pine for Cesario.

In this monologue, Shakespeare skillfully takes Viola through a range of emotions, from shock to amusement to sympathy, making it a popular comedic audition piece for many young actors. The simplicity and clarity of Viola's emotional journey make this scene both humorous and poignant.

Christopher Luscombe's hilarious 2017 production with the Royal Shakespeare Company, features Dinita Gohil as Viola alongside Adrian Edmondson as the hapless Malvolio.

Cast & Crew

(Director), Dinita Gohil (Viola), (Writer)

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