Philip Weller caricature
Philip and Weller hugging

Welcome to my web site, now under development for more than twenty years.   
-- Philip Weller, November 13, 1941 - February 1, 2021
Dr. Weller, an Eastern Washington University professor of English and Shakespearean scholar for more than 50 years.


Twelfth Night: Act 1, Scene 2


           Enter VIOLA, a Captain, and Sailors.

      VIOLA
Illyria, 1870

  1   What country, friends, is this?

      Captain
  2   This is Illyria, lady.
2. Illyria: A region on the east coast of the Adriatic Sea.


      VIOLA
  3   And what should I do in Illyria?
  4   My brother he is in Elysium.
4. Elysium: The abode of the blessed dead.

  5   Perchance he is not drown'd: what think you, sailors?
5. Perchance: Perhaps.


      Captain
  6   It is perchance that you yourself were saved.
6. perchance: by chance.


      VIOLA
  7   O my poor brother! and so perchance may he be.

      Captain
  8   True, madam: and, to comfort you with chance,
8. chance: possible good luck.

  9   Assure yourself, after our ship did split,
 10   When you and those poor number saved with you
10. poor number: few people.

 11   Hung on our driving boat, I saw your brother,
11. driving: driven by, at the mercy of, the sea.

 12   Most provident in peril, bind himself,
 13   Courage and hope both teaching him the practise,
 14   To a strong mast that lived upon the sea;
14. lived: floated.

 15   Where, like Arion on the dolphin's back,
15. like Arion on the dolphin's back: Arion on a dolphin's backAccording to Herodotus

 16   I saw him hold acquaintance with the waves
 17   So long as I could see.

      VIOLA
 18   For saying so, there's gold:
18. there's gold: Viola gives the Captain money.

 19   Mine own escape unfoldeth to my hope,
19. unfoldeth: reveals.

 20   Whereto thy speech serves for authority,
20. authority: precedent, evidence.

 21   The like of him. Know'st thou this country?
21. The like of him: the possibility that her brother escaped as she did.


      Captain
 22   Ay, madam, well; for I was bred and born
 23   Not three hours' travel from this very place.

      VIOLA
 24   Who governs here?

      Captain
 25   A noble duke, in nature as in name.

      VIOLA
 26   What is the name?

      Captain
 27   Orsino.

      VIOLA
 28   Orsino! I have heard my father name him:
 29   He was a bachelor then.

      Captain
 30   And so is now, or was so very late;
 31   For but a month ago I went from hence,
 32   And then 'twas fresh in murmur,--as, you know,
32. murmur: rumor.

 33   What great ones do the less will prattle of,--
33. great ones: nobles. the less: commoners.

 34   That he did seek the love of fair Olivia.

      VIOLA
 35   What's she?

      Captain
 36   A virtuous maid, the daughter of a count
 37   That died some twelvemonth since, then leaving her
 38   In the protection of his son, her brother,
 39   Who shortly also died: for whose dear love,
 40   They say, she hath abjured the company
 41   And sight of men.

      VIOLA
 41                   O that I served that lady
 42   And might not be delivered to the world,
42. delivered: revealed.

43. mellow: ripe.Dinita Gohil as Viola
44. estate: position in life.

 43   Till I had made mine own occasion mellow,

 44   What my estate is!


      Captain
 44                     That were hard to compass;
 45   Because she will admit no kind of suit,
45. she will admit no kind of suit: she will not listen to any kind of request.

 46   No, not the duke's.

      VIOLA
 47   There is a fair behavior in thee, captain;
47. fair behavior: good appearance.

 48   And though that nature with a beauteous wall
 49   Doth oft close in pollution, yet of thee
 50   I will believe thou hast a mind that suits
 51   With this thy fair and outward character.
50-51. suits / With: matches.

 52   I prithee, and I'll pay thee bounteously,
52. prithee: pray you, earnestly request of you.

 53   Conceal me what I am, and be my aid
 54   For such disguise as haply shall become
54. haply shall become: perhaps be suited to.

 55   The form of my intent. I'll serve this duke:
55. form of my intent: nature of my purpose.

 56   Thou shall present me as an eunuch to him:
56. eunuch: boy neutered to preserve his soprano singing voice.

 57   It may be worth thy pains; for I can sing
 58   And speak to him in many sorts of music
 59   That will allow me very worth his service.
59. allow: prove.

 60   What else may hap to time I will commit;
60. hap: happen, chance to occur.

 61   Only shape thou thy silence to my wit.
61. shape thou thy silence to my wit: fit your silence to my plan.


      Captain
 62   Be you his eunuch, and your mute I'll be:
62. mute: silent servant.

 63   When my tongue blabs, then let mine eyes not see.

      VIOLA
 64   I thank thee: lead me on.

           Exeunt.