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MonkeyNotes-Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
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Act II, Scene 1

The scene shifts once again to the Illyria coast where Sebastian,Viola's twin brother, has been saved by Antonio, a sea captain. Sebastian reveals his true identity to Antonio, who only knows him as Roderigo, stating that his father was 'Sebastian of Messaline'. He tells Antonio that he has a twin sister (Viola): "She much resembled me," whom he fears has drowned during the shipwreck. Sebastian decides to go to Duke Orsino's Court, but does not allow Antonio to accompany him as he is afraid that his misfortunes will affect Antonio as well. Antonio allows him to leave, and then follows him to the Court even though he has "many enemies in Orsino's Court".


Notes

This scene introduces Sebastian to the reader as well as complicates the plot of mistaken identity. Before this scene, the reader believed, like Viola, that Sebastian had drowned. Now it is understood that Sebastian thinks that Viola has drowned also. Sebastian's mention of the close resemblance between him and Viola lays the foundation for the series of events at the end of the play when Sebastian is mistaken for Viola and vice versa. Both Sebastian and Viola are kind and attractive, making it easy for the other characters to mistake one for the other. Antonio, unlike the Captain who rescued Viola, has an identity of his own for he is well known in Illyria as an enemy of the Duke. He also has a part to play in the theme of mistaken identity.

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MonkeyNotes-Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
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